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AXA launches over a dozen apprenticeships as part of National Apprenticeship Week

Today (4 Mar), AXA UK has launched over a dozen new apprenticeship vacancies at its Ipswich offices as part of National Apprenticeship Week.

The vacancies, consisting of customer services and claims roles, are open to new applicants and existing employees, without any age restriction. The roles also offer applicants Chartered Insurance Institute IF1 exams and Chartered Insurance Institute Certificates in Insurance, respectively.

Over the past 12 months, over 100 apprentices have started at AXA across its UK offices, with numbers expected to grow throughout 2019. The insurer has also revamped its recruitment process, moving away from graduate schemes in favour of apprenticeship programmes.

By partnering with leading training providers across the UK, AXA has utilised the apprenticeship levy to fund a range of government-approved apprenticeships, offering qualifications including CII, AAT and Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.

The insurer has listed three reasons why it has chosen to take this new direction:

  1. A shift to apprenticeships will widen our applicant pool from the narrow strata of university graduates, promoting social mobility.
  2. A more diverse workforce ultimately results in greater levels of creativity throughout our business.
  3. With the levy changes having no any upper age restriction, modern apprenticeships support continuous learning, providing opportunities for experienced employees.

“Here at AXA we strongly believe that one size does not fit all, and that talent comes from a wide range of applicants. Our decision to move away from traditional graduate schemes to apprenticeships has already proved to be a huge success, and I’m excited to announce that we will be launching dozens more opportunities throughout the year, starting at National Apprenticeship Week.” Lucinda Charles-Jones, Group HR Director, AXA UK & Ireland

Kaylee is studying a Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship at Ashridge Business School

What motivated you to apply to do the degree via an apprenticeship?

I always strive to develop and learn new skills – this is when I am at my best. The AXA apprenticeship scheme seemed like a great opportunity to further my learning in Business and Management to support my existing role and future career development, as well as growing my network.

How the apprenticeship is going and what benefits from it?

The course is fantastic! The faculty and other students at Ashridge are incredible; they have made it so easy to transition back into learning after a long break. I am also fortunate enough to have a great support network at work and at home, who ensure that I have the time and support I need to do this. I cannot lie, it is hard work but the information I am learning has already proved to be invaluable.

Through various assignments, I have completed a digital audit and capability analysis of AXA, allowing me to identify opportunities for us to further exploit technology and enhance our digital capabilities, as well as becoming more dynamic in order to respond more quickly to rapid change or new threats. I have been able to share these learnings back into the business and they have proved to be an asset in my role.

My current module is strategy, which could not have come at a better time – I am due to meet with key stakeholders to explore where they think our biggest opportunities are as an organisation. I am looking forward to writing my next assignment which is all about AXA’s approach to strategy and where the best opportunities lie.  

Willow is studying an Insurance Practitioner level 3, which includes the Certificate in Insurance with Babington Business College.

When did you decide that an apprenticeship was for you rather than college?

I went to college and after school and at that point I decided that university wasn’t for me.  I enjoyed education but not enough to go to university.  I used to work at a well-known coffee retailer and at that point I thought that I wanted to work my way up there, but then I decided that I wanted to learn whilst working. I had been interested in insurance from year 10 after doing some work experience; I have always found it interesting.

I often think that by the time my friends at university leave, I will be earning a good wage and won’t have the debt and I will also have a qualification. I did consider that socially I could perhaps miss out a bit, but AXA have sports and social clubs and I’ve made really good friends here. They are very diverse, especially in age, which is great.

What support have you had from AXA and your training provider?

We get seven ours of study time per week over two half-days, and I am able to get so much done in this time. We are provided with books, online revision sessions and face-to-face workshops.  AXA are flexible around their approach to our study; they appreciate the apprenticeship element of our role and encourage us to put learning first.

What advice would you give young people considering their next step after school?

Most people assume after college that you go to university to become further qualified; people think of university as a natural pathway. I would advise college students to think of what their motivator is – are they more motivated to work and earn a salary while learning? I would look at all options, see what is available and apply to apprenticeships and university if unsure. Then, as you go to interviews, it will become clear what is right for you.

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