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WTW apprentices discuss their pathway to success

WTW apprentices discuss their pathway to success

 February 15, 2024

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WTW apprenticeships offer a permanent job with a competitive salary, meaning colleagues have a wide range of opportunities to grow and develop within WTW's diverse and inclusive culture as they tackle challenges and projects alongside graduates.

WTW is a contributor to the news-style programme Apprenticeships: Pathway to Success, produced by ITN Business.

In the programme, WTW apprentices Madalena Pinho-Woods, Rebecca Garcia-Miller and Abdul Miah share their experiences of their WTW apprenticeship journey.

WTW Early Careers Lead, Lesley Bamber, explains why apprenticeships are so important for the company.

Pivotal role of apprenticeships

The news-style programme Apprenticeships: Pathway to Success sheds light on the pivotal role apprenticeships play in paving the way for lifelong careers, education, and skills development. It emphasizes that apprenticeships are not only an avenue for newcomers to gain work experience but also an opportunity for individuals to pursue professional qualifications while working, making them a compelling option for upskilling or transitioning to new roles.

Hosted by Warren Nettleford, the Apprenticeships: Pathway to Success programme explores the numerous opportunities available through apprenticeships, showcasing best practice support from employers and speaking to apprentices across various sectors.

The initiative aims to amplify voices across sectors and highlight the diverse experiences of apprentices. By participating in the programme, WTW demonstrates its firm commitment to the necessary value and impact of apprenticeships in today’s workforce, the support required to increase completion and retention rates, and the opportunities that apprenticeships offer to individuals across different age groups and backgrounds.

Importance of early career entrants

WTW believes early career entrants are the succession pipeline for the future, and is changing its approach to recruitment to attract more diverse applicants to its growing apprenticeship scheme. Its aim is to make the route into financial services more accessible, in turn creating a more inclusive and diverse future for the sector.

Rebecca and Madalena both had jobs when they decided they wanted to work in HR, and so they embarked on a WTW apprenticeship.

"We were in the same assessment centre group as well, so we'd met each other briefly before starting which was nice because we recognised each other, and now we're friends. Gaining experience whilst learning and earning money at the same time, it's like the perfect combination," says Madalena,

"Having done university as well, I like the fact there's a more personal aspect. I have direct contact with my line manager, there's sort of someone who's helping my progress and is actually personally invested in my progress," comments Rebecca.

Accessible recruitment process

Almost one million people in the UK are apprentices, across a range of sectors including insurance, HR, technology, accountancy and actuarial. People who are looking for an alternative to university, or to upskill or change their career paths can do so with WTW within a range of fields. The company has made changes to its application process to help more people through the door.

"There were clear instructions. The apprenticeship team were in contact regularly, so we always knew the next steps of the process. They were there, we could ask questions, they gave us tips when they could. It was really thought out. They were thinking about us throughout the process, which was really nice," says Madalena.

"All of this being online meant that you could do it in your lunchtime, and I did have to take a day off for the assessment centre, but the multiple steps were made much more accessible by not having to take time off of work. When we recruit here we use non-gendered language and we make sure we're inclusive," explains Rebecca.

"We're doing six rotations across all the different teams within HR. At this point, I might not have an end point, but by doing that rotation I'm able to experience all the different aspects of HR, gain exposure, build on my knowledge, gain transferable skills, which I can then take anywhere in HR," adds Madalena.

Attracting applicants from diverse backgrounds

WTW Early Careers Lead

WTW Early Careers Lead, Lesley Bamber, says that accessibility in recruitment is important, and that WTW is trying to attract applicants from more diverse backgrounds, which has its challenges as there is a lack of representation in the financial services sector.

"The application has been simplified in recent years, to make it as attractive and straightforward as possible, but also making sure the calibre of the entrant is there. The drive is to change the population within WTW and the financial services sector," explains Lesley.

"It's about bringing that difference of thought, so people are brought in, developed, they learn within their role, and people are, apprentices are, moving in to management and leadership positions. We have apprentices that currently manage new apprentices, and it's to make sure they are the leaders of the future, to bring that different perspective to WTW. "

Networking, upskilling and retraining opportunities

An apprenticeship can be a gateway to a life-long career but is also an opportunity for upskilling or retraining. The number of people taking up apprenticeships is growing with nearly half of all apprentices aged 25 or over. Networking is an important opportunity for apprentices to speak to peers and build connections.

Abdul shares that university didn't appeal to him, and after the insight sessions with WTW, he felt it was the best place for him. Abdul is now on the Level Four Insurance Professional Apprenticeship Programme.

"It's the responsibility that you get from day one, because you're servicing clients from the first day, but you also have that support as well if you need it," says Abdul.

Abdul explains that networks have enabled him to meet different people. WTW's retention rate is good because the company offers perks in the workplace, as well as qualifications.

"The workplace culture is very inclusive. We have a lot of groups, such as a young professional group, inclusion and diversity networks, such as the LGBTQ+ community. There's a lot more to get involved with as well as the day-to-day work," comments Abdul.

Looking to embark on a WTW apprenticeship?

WTW apprenticeships offer comprehensive training, support from tutors and a skills coach, meaning colleagues are on their way to building a successful career.

Search all the latest career opportunities available with WTW.


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