Who will make up the next generation of insurance professionals in Jamaica?
This is a very serious question given the fact that persons entering the insurance industry usually do so by ‘buck-up’ (chance). Seriously, if you ask most of the industry’s current employees, from company heads to clerical assistants, the resounding response will be that they entered insurance out of a series of events, rather than it being a career choice made from school or college days. The reality is, we, the industry players have been so caught up in ‘running the business’, that we haven’t, collectively been blowing the rallying trumpet in the interest of succession planning.
Jamaican Students & Career Options
Tell me, how many children on Schools Challenge Quiz have you heard state…”my name is Shanique Brown and when I grow up, I want to be an Insurance Broker…or Risk Manager…or Insurance Actuary…or Claims Clerk or Loss Adjuster (and the ‘ors’ go on). It just doesn’t happen; hence the ranks of teachers, lawyers, doctors and gynecologists (yes this one comes up quite often) continue to swell, while there is a real industry concern that there won’t be sufficient ‘fresh blood’ entering the insurance sector to replace the baby boomers that are nearing retirement!
Ok, I admit it…I am one such baby boomer and my introduction to an insurance career path was 100% buck up! I joined the industry in my home town in England as part of a Youth Opportunities Programme (YOP). My placement could have been in any category of business, but it just so happened to be at a small family insurance broking house. I started in the filing room and soon worked my way up the ladder, as the scope of career and study options unfolded before me. I’ll never forget overhearing my late father boasting to a friend that his daughter has ‘letters after her name’. ACII (Associate of Chartered Insurance Institute) and CIP (Chartered Insurance Practitioner) are just a few of the accreditations that are earnable within a very diverse sector…and that’s just the general insurance side. The Life Insurance sector offers a whole other world of pursuits and rewarding careers.
So, what are we going to do about it?
So, because we have become alerted to the potential future crisis, caused by the downward trend in young folk entering the industry, Sarifa Insurance Brokers has joined an exciting global movement geared towards raising awareness of the many career options within the insurance sector and to promote insurance as a compelling career choice. The movement, led by Hamilton Insurance Group, Lloyd’s of London, Marsh & McLennan, The Institutes, MyPath, Valen Analytics, The Jacobson Group, InVEST and PCI…(heavyweights to say the least), was kicked off today. This group of Risk Management and Insurance Organizations across the global industry started the major multi-phased collaborative effort a few months ago and has declared February the First Annual Insurance Careers Month. The campaign is focused on spreading the message of Insurance as the Careers Trifecta: stable, rewarding and limitless.
Here is what Inga Beale, the CEO of Lloyds of London had to say on the matter…
Sarifa responded to the call for action and registered with the overseas participants to lead the charge in Jamaica. We join over 320 companies and 400 industry professionals worldwide that have signed on to support the initiative. What we all have in common is that we recognise the importance of attracting the next generation of industry leaders…the alternative spells a personnel crisis in our industry. Under the initiative, each participating company (or individual) is encouraged to develop their own strategies and initiatives to address the underwhelming number of millennials interested in a career in insurance.
The Jamaican ‘Insurance Careers Month’ Initiative
Here in Jamaica, Sarifa has joined forces with CIPS (College of Insurance and Professional Studies) and IAJ (Insurance Association of Jamaica) and will be embarking on a month long information sharing and millennial outreach campaign including participation at University and School Careers Expos across the island.
Sarifa, itself led by a millennial CEO, Christopher Blythe, will also use its 21,000 strong social media following to encourage millennials to consider a career in an ‘old but sure’ industry that shows no signs of ceasing to exist worldwide. We are already leading the technological revolution in the industry with the first broker based online quotation platform, so it’s only fitting that we should reach out to the brilliant young minds that will connect with and embellish our technological cutting edge thrust.
Listen up and look out over this month…insurance is about to get sexy! Alright then, that might be a little bit of a stretch…’exciting’ then! 🙂