Our apprenticeship programme is designed to give you practical experience and knowledge of the insurance industry, while you work towards a recognised qualification. It takes a lot of hard work, but the rewards can be great. Here, Benji Barley, who joined our Business Analysis apprenticeship, talks about why he chose the programme and his experience so far.

For me, an apprenticeship is a great way to kick start your professional career. It gives you an ideal environment to learn and grow, by gaining a recognised qualification in your chosen field, and gaining experience that could give you the edge when applying for future roles.

During A Levels I had a real passion for Geography, but I also thoroughly enjoyed Business Studies. I knew if I wanted a career in Geography, then university would be the way to go. But the idea of university never really appealed to me. When I did my work experience placement, I really enjoyed the office environment and felt I thrived there, so I decided that an apprenticeship in business was the best and most practical route for me.

The apprenticeship structure
There are two key aspects to my apprenticeship. The first is my apprenticeship portfolio, where I summarise the work I complete on various business projects and discuss how each piece of work demonstrates that I have the technical skills I need to pass the apprenticeship. I’ll be assessed on this at the end of the apprenticeship.

The second is the various learning courses that I need to complete. Each one aims to further develop my knowledge around different aspects of my role. These typically involve two or three-day online learning courses that reinforce your knowledge, followed by a short exam that I can book to suit my schedule.

Of course, all the time I’m completing these elements, I have the chance to take part in a variety of non-apprenticeship activities and projects. These give me opportunities to interact with and learn from the people around me, gain valuable experience and expand my knowledge. It all supports my personal development.

Settling in
I started my apprenticeship during the Covid 19 pandemic, so the working environment was quite different to normal. Despite this, I had the chance to work in the office for the first few weeks, so I could properly settle in and meet some of my team in person. This also gave me the chance to go to different presentations that gave me an introduction to NFU Mutual and its ethos, culture and guiding principles.

During the lockdown, I also had all the support I needed in transferring to working from home. I was given any extra equipment I required, and the business ensured that I was comfortable and had a suitable home office set-up. I also had regular meetings with my manager to discuss my working environment, well-being, and any other concerns.

I’d recommend it
If you’re thinking of doing an apprenticeship, I’d highly recommend it. I believe unless you want to go into a career that demands a university degree, then an apprenticeship is the best option. It develops your interpersonal skills, gives you an opportunity to earn while you learn and it’s a great way to kick start a career in your desired profession.

If you’d like to follow in the footsteps of apprentices like Benji, check out our apprenticeship opportunities and take that first, all-important step towards a successful, rewarding career.