Charlie Smith, now 17, from Harwich, was exploring his career options after finishing his GCSE exams in summer 2018. Without clear future aspirations, Charlie scoured the National Apprenticeship Service website for apprenticeship vacancies.
It was here that Charlie discovered Ryan’s and decided that a career in insurance broking may offer a bright future ahead. Charlie started his two year apprenticeship with the firm soon afterwards and has made a great impression on the team.
Charlie was originally taken on to work in the Personal Lines team, yet his off-the-job training took him regularly into the Hospitality Team – working with customers in that field. It was clear early on that this was a much better fit for Charlie and, as the Ryan’s apprenticeship scheme is designed to flex to each individual’s strengths, Charlie moved to work within his niche, with his off-the-job training now focusing on the other personal lines markets, to give him real depth of knowledge and a cross-pollination of ideas and opportunities.
“When I started at Ryan’s I’d had no experience of day to day business – from how to answer the phone to travelling for training. Having a mentor on hand to help me pick up and be confident in these key skills is invaluable. As well as my on and off-the-job training at Ryan’s, I’ve been on a three-day introduction to insurance course with the CII and I’ve started my Certificate in Insurance. In fact, I’ve already completed IF1 (Insurance, Legal and Regulatory) and am now studying for IF6 (Household Insurance Products).”
Racking up an impressive 326 hours of on- and off-the-job training in only a year, the next stop for Charlie is his IF6 (Household Insurance Products) Certificate. Ryan’s is also supporting him to complete his Level 2 Maths Functional Skills qualification.
Charlie’s advice to others looking to apprenticeships in insurance broking as a post-GCSE option?
“I’ve had a great time over the past year and my colleagues at Ryan’s have all really supported me to develop myself and learn all the skills I need for a career in insurance and to get on in life. I’m really pleased I’ve taken this route for my career. I’ve already got a year of experience that many of my peers have yet to take in. Insurance? I’m in it for the long term…plus, I’m getting paid at the same time, which is always a bonus!”
Nicci Dedman Munro, HR and Facilities Manager at Ryan’s is equally proud of the successes that Charlie has achieved: “At Ryan’s we’re dedicated to bringing new people into the insurance industry and to making sure they have the skills sets they need to succeed. We’re delighted with Charlie’s progress and can’t wait to see his progression at Ryan’s. He has a promising career ahead.”