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President’s statement

Dame Inga Beale, ACII, President

Inga began her career in insurance 36 years ago, qualifying as an Associate of the CII in 1987. Armed with this professional qualification, she has enjoyed an illustrious career in the profession, culminating with her appointment in 2014 as chief executive of Lloyd’s of London.

 

It is therefore not surprising that during her year as president she chose the theme of ‘attracting new talent’ as the focus of her presidency, while also becoming a patron of the Insuring Women’s Futures initiative.

This theme links very closely to the ‘Classroom to Boardroom’ Strategic Manifesto workstream, focused on ways to attract, develop and maintain talent in insurance: “In 2016, we estimate that we had 10,000 young people attending our events in schools and colleges, where we bring to life the exciting opportunities that a career in insurance could offer them. We set ourselves the target of attracting 15,000 attendees to these events during my presidency; I am therefore delighted that we have more than achieved this target. I believe we now have the momentum and infrastructure to continue to grow this figure.”

 

Aspire to be an apprentice

 

The Aspire Apprenticeship Programme also launched during 2018, with personal finance going live in May and insurance in June. This programme was a direct response to employers’ needs for quality-assured apprenticeship training programmes that were accessible, convenient and offered a simple solution to access available funding for businesses of all sizes. Commenting on the new programme, Inga said: “With the introduction of the apprenticeship levy, it is an auspicious time for the CII to encourage further entry to the profession via apprenticeships. Young people coming into insurance are crying out for the insurance qualification to be recognised at the same level as other Chartered professions, because they understand the role of qualifications and Chartered status in building public trust. I was therefore delighted that the Aspire Programme launched this year. These programmes will help to encourage a new wave of professionals and future leaders into the profession.”

 

Diversity and inclusion

 

Inga has also been impressed by the progress the CII has made on diversity and inclusion during the year. She recently attended a co-sponsored session with Pride in the City, which aimed to illustrate the progress that the profession had made in being more modern and inclusive: “I am convinced that as a profession, supported by the CII, we are making a real difference. The CII has been impressive in looking more broadly outside of the UK, organising events in India and Singapore for Dive In the festival for diversity and inclusion in insurance, illustrating that our responsibility for fostering the open and inclusive approach we want for the profession goes beyond the UK.”

 

Looking outside the box

 

She has enjoyed learning more about the progress made by the Personal Finance Society in driving standards and engagement with the regulator: “It’s fascinating for me to be exposed more to the work of the Personal Finance Society because my experience is all on the insurance side. It seems to me that they have led the way on standards, driven by regulation over many years, meaning that financial advisers had to be highly qualified and sign up to conduct standards. There are things we need to learn from that, to consider for the insurance side. The Festival for Financial Planning Conference is an inspiring event that more than 3,000 financial advisers attend, sharing best practice as professionals who are full of pride in their industry.”

Inga concluded:

“It has been an honour to serve as president this past year. While visiting events, dinners, institutes and training days around the country, I have been struck by the number of young people and the energy that exists in our young professionals group, which is highly encouraging for the future of the organisation.”

 

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Aspire Apprenticeship Programmes

 

The CII launched the Aspire Apprenticeship Programme (Aspire) in 2018 with financial planning going live in May and insurance in June.

The CII believes that this programme is key to driving talent into the profession and was a direct response to employers’ need for quality-assured apprenticeship training programmes that were accessible, convenient and offered a simple solution to access available funding for businesses of all sizes.

These new purpose-built and standardised training programmes are easy to access, convenient to use and help businesses access available funding. With training providers carefully selected by the CII, these programmes arm apprentices with the knowledge, skills and behaviours to add real value to the profession. Additionally, as providers are typically looking to work with the larger firms, the programme has been designed to be particularly attractive to smaller firms, allowing them to access 90% co-investment funding.