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Apprenticeship Case Study - Wilby Insurance Brokers

Team Wilby

Wilby Insurance Brokers Limited is a regional brokerage headquartered in Halifax with a satellite office in Hull. Originally a small family business and now a larger corporate firm, Wilby still has its roots in the local community offering a personal, client-focused service.

Why did they sign up to Apprenticeships?

Wilby's Compliance Manager, Janet Moody, was immediately convinced that signing up to the Apprenticeship programme would address nearly all their training and competency issues without the need for pressure to gain evidence.

How was the board persuaded?

It was not an easy decision. Staff had to be persuaded to contribute some of their free time, the company had to give them time away from their usual duties and there were some costs involved.

Twenty Wilby staff so far have been put through the programme which results in the CII Certificate in Insurance, and a Level 3 NVQ in Providing Financial Services which shows that they know how to put the theory into practice.

What did the Apprenticeship achieve?

Staff reported increased confidence in dealing with customers' queries and were more often able to answer questions that would previously been put to supervisors.

Customers can now see that the people they are dealing with are qualified insurance professionals.

As Janet Moody, Wilby's Compliance Manager explained:

"Five Apprentices have already received a promotion and several are continuing through to the next level of CII professional qualifications. This programme helped support our culture of compliance and professionalism."

Why Apprenticeship?

The government subsidy for Apprenticeships helps, as do the credits that the NVQ qualification gives towards the CII Certificate in Insurance. Assessments are done on work that staff were doing anyway so there was less time away from the day job.

Staff found that working together on the programme made it easier, as confirmed by Andrew Dixon, one of Wilby's Corporate Team Leaders:

"Self-study is not for me and this programme provided the motivation I needed to obtain professional qualifications. I'm now a Team Leader thanks to the Wilby Apprenticeship scheme."

The work-based nature of the programme also made it easier for some learners to complete the programme. Danielle Moran is one of Wilby's SME Account Handlers:

"The thought of going back the classroom was very daunting for me. I needn't have worried - the sessions were very interactive with lots of help and assistance from the Tutors, my experienced colleagues and other Apprentices.

"I'm really glad I did it. I'm now Property Owners Champion at Wilby and with Cert CII after my name it just shows the true professionalism of the company."

And the future?

Wilby have just submitted two entries for awards - one for the National Apprentice Awards in conjunction with Calderdale College and the other for the British Insurance Awards "Investing in our Industry" category. They also have plans to gain Chartered status in the coming months.

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