Ruth Mitchell

Young people the future of insurance

An impending skills shortage within the general insurance industry is becoming a problem according to one leading broker in the field. Karen Weir, director of Weir Insurance in Blyth, is urging her industry to take advantage of a new apprenticeship scheme.

Speaking at a gathering this week of the Insurance Institute of Newcastle upon Tyne, where she is deputy president and education secretary, Karen talked about adopting the framework of the Chartered Insurance Institute’s (CII) ‘Apprenticeship in Insurance’, which has financial support from the Learning and Skills Council (LSC).

Karen said: “The main focus for the Insurance Institute of Newcastle upon Tyne and indeed the entire industry is to raise the awareness of the professional qualifications to young people already working within our industry locally, and to try and attract young, talented and keen individuals to join this profession.

“We are developing a long term strategy to tackle the issue, the first part of which is to start up the Apprenticeship programme within the North East, as a similar scheme has been a success in Yorkshire and the North West. The insurance industry is booming, and we are creating many jobs – therefore encouraging new blood into the industry is a subject that will remain at the top of our agenda, and it is most important that we do everything we can to get this scheme up and running to ensure the future growth of the sector.”

Nigel James, Training consultant at Skills Solutions, who provide the apprenticeship training, said: “The Apprenticeship offers a much more structured approach to CII qualifications, with work based visits from qualified assessors and it provides the first step on the ladder to the professional insurance exams ensuring a long term career in the industry for young people.”

For more information about the Insurance Institute of Newcastle upon Tyne, visit the CII website at For more information on the Apprenticeship in Insurance training, visit

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