A major national insurance business with offices in Gloucestershire has launched an exciting new apprenticeship programme — and it has tasked a specialist independent recruitment firm from Cheltenham with helping it find the right people for the job.
Ageas UK has around 2,000 staff across five offices, including just over 400 at its Gloucestershire base, as well as four million general insurance customers.
It has sought out Cheltenham-based i2i Recruitment, based off Leckhampton Road on Rockfield Business Park, to manage the recruitment process for the new apprenticeships, thanks to its expertise, skilled staff team and its exceptional links with local schools.
Claire Pitts, who works in recruitment at Ageas’s offices on Gloucester Business Park, said: ‘Everyone at i2i takes time to understand Ageas and the roles we are recruiting for; they understand it is quality and not quantity we require and always respect our decision.
‘They've taken the time to build their understanding of the different departments in our business and have developed insight into the talent we are seeking by spending time shadowing different teams in our company.
‘Apprenticeships are key to our future plans here at Ageas, supporting our skills development, creating a talent pipeline and bridging future skills gaps.
‘We have a significant number of existing employees enrolled on apprenticeships across the business, and since 2021 we have expanded our use of entry-point apprentices to attract new talent into Ageas with a range of different programmes.
‘We currently have four entry-point programmes targeting college leavers to join areas including claims, underwriting and IT, and these have proven to be a great way to build our talent pipeline and secure the skills we need for the future.’
Successful candidates on the new apprenticeship programme will be employed on a permanent basis and will spend 15 to 18 months working towards a Level 3 practitioner qualification and CII Certificate in Insurance in Ageas’s motor claims department.
They will learn to understand the Ageas business; how to deal with its customers and liaise with third parties; and all aspects of motor claims, a market valued in the UK alone at £12.2 billion in 2021 by Globaldata.com.
They will also spend time learning from teams within the business including counter fraud, claims and supply chain, motor engineers, personal injury and large loss — all to help develop their commercial, technical and analytical skills.
Charlie Ogden-Metherell, founder of i2i Recruitment, said the new Level 3 apprenticeship at Ageas is an incredible opportunity with a global business.
She said: ‘It is completely in line with what we believe in. We have long been going into schools ourselves, like Balcarras and Dean Close, to teach CV writing and interview skills and support pupils. This is such a good opportunity for everyone, no matter what your age.
‘And £22,000 is a part of a really, really good package. It is quite unheard of to have a company that is offering a commercial apprenticeship for that salary. It is defying the marketplace.’
Richard Ogden-Metherell, managing director of i2i Recruitment, added: ‘We really enjoy getting to know how a business works, what it wants; and we then have expertise across our team to identify the right people before they are sent for interviews.
‘But I think, especially in the case of this campaign, we can use the knowledge we have of schools and young people in Gloucestershire to help identify the right people to help its business grow.’
Zach Suckle, head of futures at Dean Close School, Cheltenham, said: 'We at Dean Close are incredibly grateful for i2i's support.
'As local companies are looking more at directly training the next generation of their skilled professionals through apprenticeships and trainee schemes via recruiting school leavers, i2i has sought to connect us and other local schools up with such opportunities, which is really exciting and just seems to make great sense.’
Vicky Bull, careers leader at Balcarras Academy, also said the support of firms like i2i was hugely appreciated.
‘It is so much more impactful for students to hear from the businesses themselves rather than second hand through their teachers.'
Entry requirements for the Ageas UK apprenticeship are predicted grades of three A Levels at A to C (grades four to nine) or the equivalent.
For more information about the opportunity with Ageas UK, visit i2irecruitment.co.uk.