ILC ARTICLE

Pardus takes the Wiser approach to apprenticeships


The benefits of apprentices was underlined during a peer-to-peer session held at ILC’s MGA Claims Conference 2023 – in association with the MGAA – in London during September.

Entitled ‘MGA’s got talent’, the session provided a first-hand account of a successful apprenticeship at Pardus Underwriting.

Taking part were Mark Allen, Company Director, and Aron Kaushick, Business Management Graduate.

Aaron graduated two years ago and was drawn to the risk management side of insurance. His apprenticeship, which is being delivered by Wiser Academy, combines on-the-job experience with classroom learning and is providing him with a well-rounded view of the industry.

Understanding

He said, “I didn’t know much about insurance but I’m getting a good understanding of it now from all sides. For example, I’m learning the broking side of the business even though I’m in underwriting. I’m just trying to be a sponge and take it all in.

“But it’s been a really good experience. I started from nothing and now I’m playing an active hands-on role in underwriting risk – under supervision, of course. Actually doing the job really helps to accelerate your development because you’re learning with each new risk and there is no replacement for that.”

Solution

Aaron is one of two apprentices at Pardus and Mark says it has provided an effective solution to the recruitment and retention challenge afflicting the wider industry.

He explained, “Trying to recruit top talent is a challenge, so we wanted to grab it by horns and bring talent into the business ourselves. The first step for us was speaking to Wiser Academy and partnering with someone like that was priceless. It took the burden away and helped us through the journey.

“Apart from that, the programme Aaron is on is teaching him soft skills that he might not learn with us. We can teach him our way of doing things, but there is a lot more around the edge that he is learning and now he brings new ideas to the table and that creates value to our business.”

Perception

In many cases, apprenticeships are still looked down on and considered an inferior route into the job market. However, that perception is changing and Mark believes it can’t happen soon enough.

He said, “In insurance there is a void between old and new. Apprenticeships can bridge that gap but we need to change our view of what apprenticeships can offer and we need to market it better to the next generation because it’s the best of both worlds: you can train someone from the ground up while also giving someone a career opportunity.”

Going forward, he said he expected Pardus to tap into the apprenticeship pool again and again.

He concluded, “The heartbeat of everything we do is the people. To grow we need more people to build that scale. We have decided training is the way forward and we have dedicated and committed to it in order to future-proof our business. We can bring in one apprentice or 101 and it will be the same process. We’ve got that model in place now and we’re going to be taking advantage of it from here on.”

MGA Claims Conference was supported by Headline Sponsor Claims Consortium Group (CCG); Gold Sponsors: Activate Group, Carpenters Group, EDAM Group, Enterprise, LexisNexis Risk Solutions, Pulse, Value Checkers, and Wiser Academy.

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