AN INSURANCE specialist has played a key part in an industry-wide campaign to find bright recruits through a new apprenticeship scheme.

The idea was originally devised by Susan Reeves, human resources director for Poole-based Alan and Thomas Insurance Group.

It was then adopted and launched by Brokerbility, a network of 37 UK brokers of which Alan and Thomas represents the South and South West.

The 18-month scheme will give school leavers an alternative to university and recruitment and will begin immediately.

It will lead to a recognised qualification from the Chartered Insurance Institute and will offer apprentices mentoring and coaching, as well as networking opportunities and hands-on work experience.

Susan Reeves said: “I’m delighted that the scheme has been met with an enthusiastic response from our fellow Brokerbility brokers and they have committed to employing at least 20 apprentices within the first year. “It has taken a lot of hard work to get to this stage but I’m pleased to have been able to work with Brokerbility to get the idea off the ground and launched across the industry.

“There is a real shortage of talented individuals coming into our industry so we have created this opportunity for school leavers who might not have considered a career in insurance before. Not only will they acquire a recognised qualification at the end of the apprenticeship but they will have gained some valuable work experience in both an office and broking environment. This experience will put them one step ahead of university graduates who may not necessarily have been exposed to practical work experience.”