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Apprenticeships - the employer/employee view

Apprenticeships - the employer/employee view

James Ryan Thornhill is a company of financial advisers and insurance brokers, based in Nottingham.

Although a young company, it has a mature outlook to staff development and has embraced Apprenticeships as part of its development toolkit. They used a local provider, Babington Business College, to deliver the programme to their staff.

We caught up with Justin Thornhill, their Director of General Insurance, and Simon Ashmore, a Corporate Development Manager, for two viewpoints on the value of the programme.

Here is what Justin said:

How many Apprentices do you manage?


What has your experience been of Apprenticeships so far?

The scheme has been really beneficial to both the individuals and the business as a whole. It has been better than other remote training we have tried before: the staff are much more committed and motivated because they can see the benefits of what they are studying, including the CII professional qualification.

It is also good that the training is mainly done as part of the working day. Again, this  makes it relevant and easy to see the practical benefits.

What do you believe are the key benefits of the Apprenticeship programme?

In my opinion, they produce motivated and committed staff, who also gain a globally-recognised and respected professional qualification from the CII.

The fact that we offer Apprenticeships helps with attracting staff as they can see that the company is investing time and energy into workforce development.

It helps staff to understand risk as a broad concept, rather than just seeing insurance products. This then means that they can see the implications of risk and that they are helping customers rather than just selling them something because it’s their job.

As a result of the above, my Apprentices are definitely more confident with customers.

What was your experience of Babington?

Seamless - nothing was too much of a problem for them. Their trainers are excellent and are now part of the family. They have been particularly good at delivering to the required level depending on individual needs.

Our 100% pass rate so far says it all!

So much for the employer view. What about the view of the Apprentice. Take it away, Simon Ashmore.

What do you do in a typical working day?

I manage a department and deal with larger commercial clients.

What were you doing before this role?

I was an Account handler.

How did you find out about the company and the Apprenticeship?

It was organised by the directors of the company.

The training advisor from Babington was brilliant – he delivered the training just as I would have wanted, in a relaxed and easy manner. He was very approachable and extremely understanding to me when I had a serious personal issue arise during one of our one-to-one training sessions.

How has the Apprenticeship helped you?

It got me back into studying. I am now confident that I can carry on and progress with my qualifications to higher levels.

I have a young family, so time management is important. I managed to fit everything in without detriment to home or work life. I now feel more confident both personally and about my career.

Apprenticeships are a great way to get qualifications  with no student debt!

How has the Apprenticeship helped your company?

As 10 of us took the qualification (all of us passed first time), it is helping the company to work towards obtaining Chartered status, without impacting too much on time working in the business.

If you are interested in finding out more about Apprenticeships through Babington, click here.

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