SALE-BASED Principal Insurance has launched an All Ages Apprenticeship scheme to counter the widely held view that the on-the-job training packages are designed only for school-leavers.

The specialist insurance group, which already employs around 100 staff at its Cross Street base, is looking to recruit apprentices across its operations. These include its core insurance broking business and support functions such as IT, finance, administration and human resources.

“Apprenticeships are ideal for people of all ages and backgrounds,” said Sharron Titterington, Principal’s head of compliance & HR.

“More mature apprentices, through their life experiences, bring a wider skill set which can complement what they learn on a structured apprenticeship course.

“Whatever their age apprentices earn while they learn whilst working towards a highly valued qualification. Some 60% of employers value apprentices’ skills over those of university graduates.”

Apprenticeships on offer at Principal include Level 3 Insurance Practitioner and Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) Finance Assistant qualifications, as well as business administration, HR and infrastructure and networking courses.

Typically apprenticeships take between 18 months and two years to complete, with apprentices usually spending four days a week learning “on the job”. Their final day is then spent studying, although this can include working on projects which are directly related to the work they are doing at Principal.

On joining Principal new apprentices are encouraged to initially gain experience in different aspects of the business. This not only gives them a better understanding of how different departments and roles contribute to the group’s overall success, but aids them in determining in which area they would like to specialise.

We want people to get a really good feel for the business, to find where they fit best and focus on securing a qualification which will allow them to develop a career within the Principal group. For us this is about long-term development,” said Ms. Titterington.

Principal began offering apprenticeship in 2017, with four apprentices joining its team. Each has since secured a Level 1 qualification and moved on to more specific, higher level courses appropriate to the job role they have chosen.

Established in 2011, Principal today serves around 50,000 motorcycle, car, van and commercial policyholders from its Sale HQ and offices in Dublin.