A groundbreaking initiative between the Insurance Institute of Gauteng (IIG) and the Graduate Institute of Financial Sciences (GIFS), aimed at planning economic pathways for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, has attracted significant attention from school-leavers eager to embrace a successful career in insurance.
The IIG Academic Programme in partnership with GIFS is an innovative approach to addressing South Africa’s socio-economic disparities while sourcing enthusiastic young minds to join the industry. The pilot programme kicked off in February 2019 with 15 participants handpicked from more than 1 200 applicants for an intensive, year-long programme at Wits University. They are being put through their paces, guided by specialists, and are learning about the inner workings of the insurance industry.
Formally structured and aligned to the National Certificate in Short-Term Insurance (NQF 5), the academic programme, which had been developed and designed by GIFS, is fully SAQA-compliant, and empowers the learners with competencies that include money skills, people skills, personal mastery and conflict resolution tools, to successfully navigate the insurance workspace.
At the completion of this program each block was passed with 100% competency levels.
Summary of Program:
• The programme has been completed and mentee/mentor relationships are still very active and alive.
• The World of Work programme presented by Wendy Knowler took place from 9-11 September 2019. This programme assisted learners in preparing for their interviews and provided them with guidance on workplace behaviour and etiquette. The World of Work was an absolute success to get learners motivated and geared for their careers. Certificates of attendance were issued to learners at the end of the programme.
• The learners were assigned a group project to present at the Open Day. The subject matter to be discussed as part of their group project was “The Application of Insurance in the Drone Industry”.
A subject matter expert from Drones360 came through to prepare the learners by providing in-depth knowledge about the drone industry and to answer any questions they had.
• The Open Day took place on the 11 October 2019, with representatives from various institutions attending to provide employment opportunities for the learners. Interviews have been carried and students have received contracts for 2020, some have already begun their insurances careers wef 1 November.
Student feedback on workplace practical’s:
“You must not be afraid to make mistakes but must use each mistake as a learning opportunity.”
“Your work must speak for itself. If you have to validate it, you are not working hard enough.”
“The best day ever at Momentum. I learnt more about insurance for example the scope of life insurance in S.A.
“Gave great advice on staying competitive in the insurance industry.”
“Previous learners from Medshield learnership also shared their experience and where they are now which was really inspiring and motivating.”
“It was a great experience, they took us through what is a medical aid scheme, when was it established, how it works and how essential it is to the South African economy and the public.”
“I learned that Santam has the highest market share price, reinsurance and risk management plan through a visual monitor, I also learned more about commercial underwriting”
“We were introduced to Pauline Pillay who works at the personal lines contact centre and Clive who is a claims agent, in the Commercial Lines and Survey department and covered their experience in the industry”
“I learned that SASRIA is an insurance for special manmade risk such as strikes, riots and terrorist attacks, SASRIA takes their premiums from Insurance companies starting at R2.50 per month”
“SASRIA was very informative. We were enlightened about what they really do and gave us a clear understanding on the information we thought we knew about SASRIA. We got interaction from the presenters and visited the underwriting and claims department”
“I learned that Bryte Insurance is the first insurance company to use Drone Surveying, it also helped to give more information about the engineering and surveying aspects”
“The presenters at Bryte insurance, created a warm welcoming environment. It was a great experience as it was hosted by one of our mentors, Sarah Moses. They enlightened us about what they cover and what situations they would have refused cover.”
Mentor Training feedback from learners
o “I have learned many skills such as the skills required by me as a mentee. I need to have communication skills, listening skills and interpersonal skills.”
o “It was a very useful and insightful session.”
o “The Skype session with Dr Aarti Mahabeer was very educational she taught us about what a mentor and mentee is and the roles that the mentor plays.
o “We have built personal relationships with our mentors, they have become more like a friend and I consider them someone that I can always look to for guidance.
Overall Learner Feedback
The learners all feel like they have progressed a lot through the programme and have grown and increased their insurance industry knowledge. At the start many learners could not see a future in the insurance industry but are now committed to fulfilling careers in the industry. Many learners feel like that they have made a great achievement in their lives after completing this programme.
The students celebrated their achievements on graduation day on 21 November 2019
We’re excited about running this program again in 2020!
Written by Sarah Moses