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The Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship Launches 2019 Call for Applications

Over 100 Places are set to become available on the ‘Earn and Learn’ Programme

The Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship Launches 2019 Call for Applications

60% of Young Adults Would Consider an Apprenticeship if Available in an Area of Interest to them –
While Only 18% Believe there are Enough Apprenticeships Currently Available to Choose From

Research released by The Insurance Institute, found that 60% of Young Adults would consider undertaking an apprenticeship as an alternative to college, if it were available in an area of interest to them, however only 18% of this cohort believe there are currently enough apprenticeship options available to choose from. The findings also revealed that over half of parents (52%) would encourage their child to undertake an apprenticeship, with a small minority (12%) believing there are currently enough apprenticeship options available.

The research was released today by The Insurance Institute, to mark the launch of the 2019 Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship. Now in its fourth year, the programme is Ireland’s first-degree level apprenticeship and is set to have 100 places on offer. The ‘earn and learn’ programme enables apprentices to work full time for an insurance employer, earn a salary, while studying for a BA Hons in Insurance Practice.

The research, commissioned by The Insurance Institute and undertaken by Empathy Research, surveyed 299 young adults (between the ages of 16 – 34), and 367 parents of dependent children (under the age of 18), and gauged their perceptions of apprenticeships, as well as their attitudes towards third level education, the Leaving Cert and also factors influencing their career decisions. This is the third year The Insurance Institute has undertaken the research, and a number of shifts and patterns in attitudes have been found (please find detail contained in notes to editor).

Interestingly, just over 8 in 10 (82%) young adults surveyed stated that a college/third level education isn’t for everyone, with a similar proportion (78%) agreeing that you can have a successful career without going to college. 78% of 16 – 34 year olds also declared that a more structured approach to education - such as one that allowed individuals to earn and learn, would appeal to them and over half (52%) of young adults would like to see more options available when it comes to getting a third level education.

Just over half (53%) of those aged under 34 claim having a good work/life balance plays a huge role when deciding on a career, with 63% of parents claiming it would play a huge role in the career they advise for their children.

When asked what their main concerns are with regards going to college, young adults surveyed cited job prospects when studying is complete (54%) and the cost and affordability (56%) of third level education. Similarly, parents stated that the cost and affordability (64%) of college was their main worry with job prospects also a concern (54%) with regards their children’s third level education.

Commenting on the research findings and the launch of The Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship, Dermot Murray, CEO, The Insurance Institute said,

“We are delighted to launch the 2019 Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship, and to announce that there will be over 100 places available nationwide. The ‘earn and learn’ programme is now preparing for its fourth intake and continues to go from strength to strength. The programme presents a completely unique approach to gaining a qualification as it enables apprentices to kick start their career in an innovative industry full of opportunity, and all while earning a salary and studying for an Hons Degree. The apprenticeship has also been revolutionary for the insurance industry, as it brought a wave of new talent, and insurance employers have the opportunity to bring a highly ambitious employee on board who is keen to learn every aspect of the business.”

“The results of the research indicate that there is a strong desire for more options in terms of third level education, with 52% of young people and 49% of parents citing this. Once again the research also highlights the many concerns young adults and their parents have in relation to third level, with cost and affordability and job prospects high on the agenda again this year. With an apprenticeship such as ours, these fears are alleviated as the programme is Government funded and so the fees are minimal (600 Euro). Also the apprentices have the opportunity to work anywhere in the country as the programme is delivered through online lectures and distance learning, so it truly is nationwide and they may not need to move.”

“We would encourage anyone interested in the Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship to log on to EarnandLearn.ie where jobs will be coming on board soon and where apprentices can find all the information they need about this one of a kind programme.”

The research showed some interesting findings in relation to the Leaving Certificate, with 52% of young adults citing ‘not achieving enough points’ as their main concern, with parents (64%) most likely to worry about this also. 4 in 10 (40%) of those aged under 34 claim the potential of failing an exam and having to repeat was a concern, with 42% of parents claiming their child not getting a college place was a concern for them.

Mental wellbeing is high on the agenda for both parents and young adults with (40%) under 34 claiming to give their mental wellbeing a lot of consideration, and 7 in 10 (70%) parents claiming they consider their children’s mental wellbeing to the same degree.

Additional Research Findings:

Leaving Cert / Third Level Education

  • 65% of young adults and parents said that they believe there is too much pressure to go to college nowadays.
  • Almost 6 in 10 (55%) of those aged under 34 claim they found the Leaving Certificate stressful when they were going through it, with parents claiming a higher degree of stress was felt by their children (61%).
  • Just over half (52%) of under 34’s believe the stress associated with the Leaving Certificate could be reduced in the future by moving to a more continuous type of assessment, with 62% of parents believing this to be the case.


  • Just over half of under 34’s (52%) would like to see more options available to students to get to third level education when they finish secondary school, this is 49% for parents.
  • Almost half (45%) of young adults associated apprenticeships with being “male dominated”, compared to just 35% of parents.
  • The research revealed that  ‘On the job learning’ is the phrase most likely to be associated with apprenticeships, cited by just over 6 in 10 (65%) under 34’s and 7 in 10 (70%) parents.
  • 3 in 10 (30%) of 16-34’s claimed they considered an apprenticeship.

Influences/Factors when Deciding upon a Career

  • The salary you get when starting out and the long-term career prospects are deemed to be most influential by 16-34-year olds when deciding on which career path to take. The desire to have a safe job is also deemed to be extremely influential (59%).
  • Almost three quarters (73%) of 16-34’s believe that when evaluating an industry that the availability of jobs in an area is extremely important, with 7 in 10 (70%) parents feeling the same way. The opportunity to further develop skills is also deemed important for both cohorts with 64% of 16-34-year olds citing it and 69% of parents.
  • Parents (48%) are the most likely source of career advice for those aged under 34, just ahead of friends (42%), with almost a third (31%) claiming they consult online channels for career advice.

The Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship was first launched in September 2016 and was Ireland's first-degree level apprenticeship programme. The Government funded apprenticeship is run in partnership with IT Sligo, and apprentices complete the degree portion online through distance learning over three years.

The minimum entry requirements include two honours in higher level subjects in the Leaving Cert and a pass in four additional subjects including English/Irish and Maths. Alternatively, if applicants are over 23, other selection tools may be used. All successful applicants must interview with employers as part of the selection process.

For more information on the programme or to register your interest please visit www.earnandlearn.ie

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