1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
The apprenticeship involves training to be an underwriter within the company. This involves working along side colleagues who are experienced in the industry & doing the same day to day tasks as they do. This includes communicating with brokers, calculating quotation or renewal terms and actioning any mid-term changes to policies. The apprenticeship involves no set training programmes other than shadowing members of staff & no project work to allow apprentices to view other areas of the business.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have studied towards my CII Diploma in insurance whilst working at Aviva, all of which is funded by the scheme which I find very benefitial. I would appreciate more allowance within work time or more structured training to study towards these qualifications as this can be very time consuming out of work time. However I do understand that the majority of this work does need to be completed on evenings or weekends in my own time. I find I have developed siginifcant skills towards underwriting, however have found the scheme poorly structured with regards to training provided and every apprentice (even within the same office) seems to have received various different methods of training. This means that development can siginficantly vary between apprentices making it very hard for some to meet the tight licence development framework in place. This needs to be tightly recorded by someone overseeing the whole scheme & ensure that all apprentices are recieving the same level of training
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
Personally I have mixed opinions of my scheme. I expected to enjoy the programme siginifcantly more than I have done and expected the company to be much more supportive of newer staff within the company. Due to the scheme being reasonably new when I joined (only 6 months old) I feel this has been very much a learning curve for Aviva with regards to the training programmes and structure of the scheme. However despite numerous amounts of feedback at various events with regards to improving the programme I feel it has taken Aviva too long to take feedback on board and seem to have done little to improve in the 2/3 years this has now been running. The company culture seems very focused on improving young talent within the company however this is not fed down to management at a local/regional level. I feel I have struggled significantly to gain the support and understanding needed to develop and I often feel this is not important or a high priority at a local level.
4. How valued do you feel by Aviva?
At a corporate level I feel extremely valued and can definately see the focus on development of young talent at the forefront of the directors agenda. We attend annual networking events which I feel helps people on the scheme feel valued. However these networking events and much of any sort of mention of the scheme always seems to promote the graduate scheme at a much higher importance and hence makes the apprentices feel unvalued within the company. At a local level I do not feel that I am valued in the company & feel that my opinion is obsolete within the team. I feel I contribute towards the team siginifcantly, handling the most GWP (within quotes and renewals) out of any of my team members (despite the fact i've only been here two years), and yet recieve no recognition for my work or good praise/feedback
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
I feel the programme is very poorly structured and very much depends on the local regions/teams to decide on the training methods. Mentors/trainers are allocated but very often lose touch within the teams after afew months and is not a focus for the full 3 year programme. I personally feel I received very good training when i first started and still recieve help when required when doing work, however I know this is not the case for every apprentice and work needs doing by Aviva to help create consistency.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
N/a We do have training providers all training in provided in house by Aviva Exams are completed with the CII but very little support is given & Aviva do not pay for day schools or revision sessions.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I feel I recieve an adequate level of support from Aviva with regards to training towards the underwriting role & funding towards the self-study of the external qualifications I would appreciate more suppot from Aviva with regards to gaining a wider knowledge of the company as a whole and opportunities to gain exposures to different areas of the company.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
I find the salary for the apprenticeship is adequate for the work undertaken. The pay progression scheme works well to enourage apprentices to meet the set targets however I feel these are very demanding and need revising to be more achievable.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
The company has very little opportunities outsise of work If these are in place none are advertised or explained to apprentices
9. Would you recommend Aviva to a friend?
If the work is undertaken following peoples feedback I would recommend the scheme in the future however at this stage I feel other apprenticeships may provide more structured training allow people to develop faster. Aviva have a very good reputation & hence they are a good name to promote to work for with little advertising required
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Aviva?
Aviva is a very good name within the industry and are well thought of with regards to underwriting standards. I feel being trained at Aviva will leave apprentices in good stead for the rest of their career, however unless the opinon regionally improves with regards to improving young talent I cannot see Aviva retaining the best apprentices for long periods of time.
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