Posted on 31st August 2016
Insurance ‘young guns’ celebrate success
A mid-Sussex insurance firm is celebrating a record number of young staff gaining their professional qualifications.
Nine staff at BC Underwriting (BCUW) in Burgess Hill received their Chartered Insurance Institute papers this summer, making the team not only one of the youngest, but also one of the best qualified in the country.
CII certification is the industry standard, but it is not a requirement to practise in insurance, as BCUW’s Tom Stripp, just 32 and already the MD, explained: “Not every insurance business will invest in professional development for their staff, but for us, it’s important for two reasons.
“Clients rightly expect to be advised by well-trained, knowledgeable, qualified advisors and here that’s everyone they speak to. Just as crucial, if we are to retain the brightest and best talent in the industry, staff – and particularly young staff – need to see there’s a career path, with clear benchmarking and opportunities for progression and better rewards if you put the time in to gaining a professional qualification. It’s a great thing to achieve and quite a thrill to be able to write ‘CII’ after your name for the first time.”
In a recent survey of first jobseekers by the CII, fewer than one in 10 reported being highly interested in joining the insurance industry. But BC has no trouble attracting ‘young guns’, many of whom actively help shape the company’s future by serving on a junior advisory board.
“All through my time at school and college, insurance was never a subject that was discussed,” says Tom, who would be keen to see the industry offer more internships.
“It’s a people industry, not an office job,” he says. “Have fun and work hard is the motto. You don’t come in to do a 9 to 5 job; you come in to be part of the team here and the career ladder is as long as you want it to be.”
"This association was started with a lot of effort from a few local businessmen and has proved to be a very powerful and useful tool for our business. The BHBPA has influence at the top level; when action is needed, the BHBPA gets it done. We are kept in touch with all that is happening on our doorstep and will often act because of what is published in the weekly emails / newsletters."
"“I can’t speak highly enough of the BHBPA. As a small local business we feel very much part of a community and thoroughly enjoy the annual exhibition and meetings throughout the year. Over the years we have built fantastic working relationships with many BHBPA members and every meeting and event offers us opportunities to work with more. This is networking at its best! ” "
"The BHBPA is the most effective and dynamic business organisation I have ever worked with in over 30 years in Local Government. It has a very active and large membership whose points of view are taken seriously by all government structures. Peter Liddell does an excellent job in providing unique and enjoyable networking opportunities where members interact and discuss points of mutual interest. It provides a forum for businesses to discuss common issues, to share experiences and to play a powerful and meaningful role in the Burgess Hill community. The BHBPA provides important and credible support for all its members and ensures that their best interests are represented where necessary. "
"I am delighted to have a long-standing relationship with the BHBPA. Since its foundation the Association has gone from strength to strength and there is no doubt that it has brought huge benefits to its members and the business community as a whole through the partnerships it has formed with the local authorities, Sussex Police and local organisations. It is paramount that Burgess Hill businesses have an effective collective voice."