Sep13

Direct Line Group

Hear From Our Former Apprentices

Posted by Direct Line Group at 01:56 PM


An apprenticeship in insurance could provide you with a passport to a fascinating career in one of Britain’s most dynamic industries.

Find out what three of our recent apprentices made of their experiences at Direct Line Group below. 

Caleb Lewis

"We started off learning about DLG and what insurance it offers. We got to see many different business functions like Claims, Sales, Fraud Prevention, Accident Repair Centres, which gave me a wider perspective of what DLG does.

"We then did a rotation in four different teams within HR, which also gave me a breadth of experience within HR."

 

 

A Typical Day at Direct Line

 "There was a variety of tasks, which included processing recruitment files, background checks and contracts, dealing with employee queries, working on projects, dealing with pay issues and much more." 

Getting Support

"If you needed help with understanding processes or policies or just needed someone to talk to - everyone in the team was always very approachable. My team leaders and managers always checked in with us to make sure we were feeling supported and confident."

Choosing an Apprenticeship

 "I'm a practical person - so doing the job whilst learning is a much more enjoyable way of developing for me. I also wanted to ensure a secure future and career by working for and adding value to a large and thriving organisation."  

The Attractions of Insurance

 "Insurance for most things is a legal requirement and also protects the things we need and we want - which means that the industry is financially strong. This is a good place to start your professional career." 

Learning on the Job

 "Not only have I gained relevant qualifications, but I have also gained extremely valuable work experience within a large organisation.  I’ve learnt skills like effective communication, technical and practical skills and gained HR and business environment knowledge."
 

Carol Laycock

"I chose to do an apprenticeship as I knew that I would be learning from experienced professionals on the job whilst also gaining qualifications. I felt like I was ready to be set targets within a business environment. What motivated me the most was to know I would have my foot in the industry at such an early stage in my career. I knew this would be massively beneficial and would support me towards a stable and professional career."

 

The first days, weeks and months

"When I first joined Direct Line Group as an apprentice I was made to feel very welcome and comfortable. I felt like people really understood what it meant to me to have just come straight from sixth form to work. Everyone around me was really supportive and I never felt lost.
In my first week I was taken on an induction which they called 'back to the floor' this was very beneficial for me and I felt like I had already learnt so much about Direct Line Group in that first week alone. We were able to visit business functions like Claims, Sales, Fraud Prevention and Accident Repair Centres, which helped me to discover Direct Line Group and understand exactly what it does."

"As the apprenticeship was based on a six-month rotation in three different departments within HR, my day changed a lot over the 18 months. Before I moved into the first department, I was introduced to all three of the people managers for the three departments I would be working in. This helped as I felt like I had already got to know them before I moved across into their teams."

"In the first couple of weeks, I was also introduced to my assessor who would be there to support me through my studying for the Business Administration qualification. This helped, as I knew I would always have somebody there if I ever needed support with modules/set pieces of work."

A typical day

"Whilst I was working in Candidate Services my day consisted of duties like processing external and internal contracts; conducting telephone interviews; processing recruitment files by conducting background screening on all new joiners; managing the candidate pools and scheduling telephone interviews. There was a lot of activity within Candidate Services and I had the opportunity to touch upon all of them. This was exciting as I feel like I was able to really make the most of my six months within Candidate Services."

"I then moved across to HR, where my duties consisted of things like dealing with employee queries, processing references for current/past employees, archiving personnel files, etc. and understanding business policies. Being able to touch upon all of these things really helped me to understand the business and also what our employees are wanting."

"Payroll was my final rotation. As an apprentice who had been with the company for 12 months, I already had a good understanding of the business and our company values. This helped me a lot when moving across to a completely new department. I was able to really get stuck into my role within Payroll."

"Away from work we were also given time to study. This came around once a week when we would have time out away from our desks to complete modules and assessments. During those days, I would normally sit at my computer where I was able to access all my revision and study materials to enable me to complete my apprenticeship modules. I would have deadlines set by my assessor so would usually be working on something to contribute to these."

Support

"The support on my apprenticeship was amazing, and I really couldn’t have asked for anything more. When I first joined I felt like I really bonded with my learning mentor. I knew if I felt like I couldn't speak with my team leader or senior, she would always be there."

"I also had a good relationship with all my team leaders throughout the 18 months on my apprenticeship, and did feel comfortable speaking with them. They would always ask how I was getting on, which motivated me a lot to know I had everybody around me for support."

"My colleagues were also fantastic throughout my apprenticeship. I have made some really great friendships and feel like I can trust everybody here around me."

A career in insurance

"I chose the insurance industry because I feel like it will provide the educational opportunities needed to advance my career. I feel like insurance offers a career path where I can learn on the job and receive the professional training I need to reach my potential. I think that the insurance industry is consistently growing and can feel secure on my career path within this industry."

 Important lessons

"Looking back, the most important things I have learnt is not to be afraid to speak up. Your opinion/idea always matters, whether it makes a change or not. I have learnt that mistakes will be made, and you will always learn from them and the next time around you will be even better.
I have learnt how to work quickly and efficiently, meeting business needs. I have gained a lot of business experience and very valuable transferrable skills. I feel like I am comfortable taking ownership of my own work and projects, showing confidence when communicating to those in and outside of the business."

 

David Peacock


"Before I started with Direct Line Group as an apprentice I was studying my A levels at Woodkirk Academy Sixth Form College. I was studying Maths, Geography, Product Design and Business Studies, but after completing my AS Levels I decided the University route was not the best option for me. I looked into a variety of different apprenticeships and decided to go to a job fair at Leeds Town Hall to gain more information."
 
"It was here that I found out about a three-day voluntary course with BPP University of Law School. Whilst attending this course a number of people from different companies gave speeches about schemes they were running. After talking with Jo Smith and Sam Kelly, the HR apprenticeship at Direct Line Group appealed to me the most. What excited me about the role was getting exposed to HR, through recruitment, payroll and HR."  

Getting started

 "At the start of the apprenticeship we had the opportunity to visit different departments in the company. We visited Rescue, Claims, Fraud and the Accident Repair Centre. With relatively little experience before this apprenticeship, it was a nerve-racking experience moving into an office environment. But every member of each team was welcoming and took away my nerves straight away. I learnt so much in the two years I have been here, and hope to carry on learning throughout my career at DLG."
 

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