19 October, 2011
I have long held the view that there is a shortage of skilled
professionals looking to work in the insurance industry - yes, it
might not be the most glamorous career choice, but I do think that
more can be done to make our sector more attractive.
I think we need to educate people, particularly graduates who
may be weighing up their options, that it can be very satisfying
with salary and skills development delivering long-term rewards. I
think, as an industry, we need to communicate that insurance is not
stuffy and boring, but that we do offer attractive career
opportunities at all levels.
It is fair to say that in the past we have had some difficulties
finding people with the broad analytical skills that we need for
our development work. Although it's a problem that affects the
whole sector, we want to grow the business by bringing new skilled
professionals in, as well as developing the talent that we already
have within the company.
It is hard to attract good-quality people to work in the
insurance industry in the Westcountry unless they're already
looking for a change of lifestyle, rather than for career
At Cornish Mutual, we're looking to start graduate placements in
the near future and we're also working with learning providers to
develop our own, in-house staff development scheme. I believe that
one of the factors that will help with the future growth of our
business is the insurance industry becoming more successful overall
in securing talented individuals.
There is a desire for Cornish Mutual to grow over the next few
years and we want to recruit locally wherever possible. We don't
want to start losing people who might have been born, raised and
educated in the South West who then choose, for whatever reason, to
leave the region and work elsewhere.
As an insurer, we're in a unique position because we're the only
general insurance firm to be based in the South West and we still
have Inspectors meeting and dealing with our Members
We need good people who like dealing with real people - our
business is very much customer facing and although we're using new
technology and automated processes, there is no substitute for that
one-to-one level of service that we can provide.