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Industry Rising Star Develops Successful Apprenticeship Scheme

Pictured, from left to right, are James Hancox, Shane Tull, George Cleary, Neil Mackey, Jack Shale and Ciaran Craven.

A Coventry company’s first apprentice who went on to be nationally recognised as an industry rising star is taking its latest career hopeful under his wing.

Neil Mackey became the first apprentice at commercial insurance broker Inspire Insurance in 2011 - and within just three years had qualified as an insurance professional, and held up as one of the UK’s brightest stars in broking by industry experts.

Neil’s success prompted the award-winning company to develop an apprenticeship scheme to allow other young people to enter and progress within the industry, and he has since supported nine apprentices as a role model and mentor.

George Cleary, aged 19, is the newest apprentice and is part of an intake of five who have all joined since 2017, as part of the Middlemarch Business Park company’s on-going investment in young, local talent and to support its continued growth.

Ciaran Craven, aged 21, Shane Tull, aged 22, and James Hancox, aged 19, have recently completed their apprenticeships, and are either working towards or have achieved their Cert CII industry qualification.

Nineteen-year-old Jack Shale has achieved his Cert CII ahead of his apprenticeship.

Neil, corporate risks manager, said: “Our latest intake of five apprentices are all making a big impression and we have been extremely impressed with how they have taken to their new roles, particularly starting at as young an age as 17.

“We are a growing commercial insurance broker with over 1,500 clients nationwide and we are looking at taking on another 15 employees over the next 18 months to support our expansion which is currently focused on the local and regional market.

“Our plan is to recruit another five apprentices in the next 12 months by which time Ciaran, Shane, James, Jack and George are expected to all be taking a leading role in their departments.”

The apprentices are assigned across all areas of the business including commercial accounts, business development, accounts, claims and compliance, and undergo intensive in-house and external training.

Every member of the 23-strong workforce is either working towards Cert CII or has achieved Cert CII and is progressing to a Diploma.

Neil added: “The success of the company has been built on professionalism, and by providing me with the right training and support, I was able to make a significant impact on the business as a young broker which was recognised at a national level within our industry.

“I always hoped that my achievements would encourage others and help promote insurance as a career, and so it’s great to be so involved in supporting our next generation of industry professionals.”

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