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.”