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The benefits of apprenticeships to smaller broking firms and where to start

Publication date:

25 May 2023

Last updated:

19 July 2023

Apprenticeships are on the rise, and open to everyone. You can apply whatever your age or background.

It is a great way for broking businesses to bring in talent, improve diversity or to train existing colleagues and get support for their training.

Where to start?

  1. Start by registering on CII Aspire, where we can walk you through the whole process.
  2. You will need to decide which of the three insurance apprenticeship standards you want your apprentice to follow. These are: Insurance Practitioner (Level 3), Insurance Professional (Level 4) and Senior Insurance Professional (Level 6).  Each standard includes the appropriate level of CII qualification as standard; i.e.  Certificate, Diploma, and Advanced Diploma respectively.

    Let’s assume that you want to recruit a new untrained employee, (although in fact you can use funding to provide apprenticeship training including insurance qualifications even for existing staff – see here for more details if that’s for you).
  1. You need to find a training provider. We’ve done the hard work for you, by finding competent training providers in all of the insurance standards across the UK (note, each of the nations have slightly different funding rules and approved training providers, which you can find out more about here.) Once you’ve registered, we will put you in touch with an appropriate training provider for your chosen standard and region.
  2. Let’s say you’ve chosen to recruit straight from school into the Insurance Practitioner standard. If you hire an apprentice that is 16 - 18 years old, and your business has less than 50 employees, the government will fund your apprenticeship training 100%. If you’re apprentice is older, you will need to fund 5% of the apprenticeship and you will be able to draw down the remaining 95% from the apprenticeship levy fund.
  3. Once you have decided to go ahead with your training provider and you’re comfortable with the standard you can place an advert on the government website to recruit you apprentice. It may help to take a look at how other firms have done this here. Remember, school leavers are likely to be most actively searching for apprenticeships near the end of their studies between March – May. 
  4. When you have selected the right apprentice, you will be required to pay their salary and ensure that they are able to spend 20% of their time in ‘off the job training’. The good news is off-the-job training’ does not necessarily mean you will have to release your apprentice one day a week to sit in a classroom. Training is an essential part of an apprenticeship and must take place during employed time. You may find that your existing learning and development delivery counts towards the 20%. For example, revision towards CII exams, use of insurance/Broker/Financial Assess and attendance at Local Institute events.

For more information, go to

Emily Kenna, CII Broking Community Board Member, shares her experience of having apprentices in her firm: “I cannot stress how much I would recommend apprenticeships as a route to bring in talent to your organisation. I have two apprentices, and the knowledge they have acquired and the skills they have gained are making them valuable to our business. I am incredibly proud of their achievements and progression thanks to the support of the apprenticeship programme.”