Zurich North America announced it will significantly expand the Zurich Apprenticeship Program, doubling the number of participants in 2022.
CEO Kristof Terryn said the insurer plans to hire approximately 70 apprentices in at least nine cities where the insurance provider has offices, including Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Overland Park (Kansas), Philadelphia, San Francisco and Schaumburg (Illinois), as well as in certain agricultural areas where Zurich’s crop insurance business operates.
After opportunities are posted in the first quarter of 2022, apprentices will be hired to work in at least 14 of Zurich’s businesses and functions, including claims, underwriting, sales, information technology, crop insurance, cyber and other areas. They will begin the program in August 2022.
Zurich introduced its U.S. apprenticeship program in 2016 as an earn-while-you-learn opportunity to launch a career in insurance. Zurich has typically hired 24-30 apprentices in each cohort and has added focus areas for apprentices over the years.
“It’s no secret that there’s fierce competition for talent right now, but that’s not the reason we’re expanding,” Terryn said. “We’re growing the Zurich Apprenticeship Program because apprentices have brought value to our business from the very beginning. This is a talent source that has proven its value and versatility through many different market conditions, including at the height of the pandemic, when we expanded our program from our suburban Schaumburg headquarters to New York City.”
Through Zurich’s two-year program, apprentices split their time each week, with three days of on-the-job training under the mentorship of Zurich colleagues and two days focused on college coursework toward an associate degree, with tuition funded by Zurich.
Apprentices receive a full-time salary and full benefits and are guaranteed a position and promotion with Zurich when they successfully complete their apprenticeship. Zurich said it has placed 100% of apprentices who complete the two-year program in jobs and the cumulative retention rate for Zurich apprentices is approximately 85%.
Zurich says the program attracts people with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Apprentices have included high school graduates, military veterans, people returning to the workforce after a hiatus and workers looking to move from a job to a career. Applicants typically do not have a college degree.
Zurich has shared its model with other organizations to help expand apprenticeship opportunities, including the Borough of Manhattan Community College. As the program expands, Zurich is also working with nonprofit organizations, such as Futures and Options, Boys and Girls Clubs of America and Year Up, and various secondary education institutions around the country.
Source: Zurich North America
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