Clare Burgess talks to Keith Fenwick, of Norwich operations at Marsh, about working in the insurance sector.

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Jobs24 factfile: insurance

Training

You can either enter the insurance sector as administration support staff or directly handling claims. Achieving a level 3 qualification or above such as A-levels, Diplomas, Foundation degree or a degree/ HND would enhance your progress and set you aside from the competition. Once you have secured a role within a company you can then train on the job.

You can work towards the qualifications of the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) on a part-time basis, day or evening. These include the Certificate in Insurance or the Diploma in Insurance which are recognised across the world as a global standard.

Timescale

Full qualification can take up to three years although some can be acquired sooner than this.

Local training

• City College Norwich 01603 773773/ www.ccn.ac.uk

Offer part time Chartered Insurance Institute courses delivered at St Andrews House, the National Skills Academy Financial Services.

Also offer full time Diplomas in business, administration and finance and work-based options.

• College of West Anglia 01553 761144/ www.cwa.ac.uk

Offering full-time business programmes, administration and apprenticeships and part- time computing courses

• Great Yarmouth College 01493 655261/ www.gyc.ac.uk

Full-time courses in information technology; part-time and work-based in business, administration and computing

• Norfolk Adult Education 0344 800 8002/ www.norfolk.gov.uk

Offering work-based and part-time computing options

• Apprenticeships www.apprenticeships.org.uk

Follow the ‘search for vacancies’ link for current vacancies

Salary range

Insurance claims handlers earn in the range of £14,000 - £25,000 a year. Higher earners can make up to £35,000 a year. Other benefits could include profit-related bonuses, low-rate mortgages, medical insurance, life and pension cover and discounts on all insurance policies.

Belle Jones

Why is it a good profession to get into?

Working in insurance is a different and varied profession where you never stop learning. Working for a big organisation such as Marsh means that you get to meet lots of different people who are all doing different things so, for me, the best part about my job is the people that I work with.

What does the work involve?

There are lots of different job roles in insurance so it can be very dependant on what you are doing. The jobs can range from sitting at a desk reading papers and writing reports to being on the phone and meeting clients. You could also be selling insurance to clients and at other times be preparing presentations which, on occasions, will involve staying late so it can be a very varied type of job role across all of those disciplines. We encourage people to take insurance specific examinations such as the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) examinations. We are very lucky because Marsh is such a big company, if you’d like a change of direction, we can help you find a more suitable area within the company.

What are the positives/negatives of the profession?

The main positives for me are the people that I work with, not only within Marsh but also our clients. Generally you meet really good, honest and straightforward people. However at times there is a lot of pressure and you will find yourself working to very tight deadlines.

Is there much local demand for people trained in this area?

Marsh is always open to people with great skills who want to work in the insurance industry.

What would employers look for in someone applying for a vacancy?

There are a range of qualifications you will need to work in insurance, depending on what you want to do. We start with Apprenticeship training for younger people joining and we also recruit graduates, people with A-level qualifications and people with experience in other companies. We look for people who we think have the ability to learn, listen and be patient. The ability to work with others in an office environment is absolutely essential. Working in the insurance industry is a long-term career and it will take roughly five years before an employer will see a good return on investment in a trainee, but once you get to that level of expertise, you can really go up and beyond!

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