SCHAUMBURG, Ill., Nov. 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- This has been a year of firsts for the Zurich Apprenticeship Program, and the U.S. insurance provider will celebrate several of them — including the graduation of its first Cyber Apprentices and the expansion of the program to New York — during the U.S. Department of Labor's sixth annual National Apprenticeship Week.
Running from Nov. 8 to Nov.14, National Apprenticeship Week was created to highlight the benefits of apprenticeship in preparing a highly skilled workforce to meet the talent needs of employers across diverse industries.
Zurich North America has experienced those benefits as the architect of an innovative professional insurance apprenticeship program, launched in 2016. Initially focused on Claims and Underwriting Support Services, it was the first insurance apprenticeship program to be certified by the Department of Labor. Zurich has since added apprenticeships in areas such as Finance, Human Resources, Cyber (added in 2018) and IT (new in 2020), based on business needs year to year. It also expanded to New York City in 2020. Apprentices earn a full-time salary, benefits and tuition coverage from their first day in the two-year program.
Here are Zurich events and highlights for 2020 National Apprenticeship Week.
Zurich Class of 2020 Apprentice Graduation: The third cohort in the Zurich Apprenticeship Program graduates Nov. 12 in a virtual ceremony. The Class of 2020 includes Zurich's first Cyber Apprentices and first Premium Audit apprentices. Over the past five years, Zurich has hired 116 apprentices in total, exceeding its original goal of 100 by the end of 2020. Upon completion of the program, graduates are promoted one level into a role at Zurich.
"The Zurich Apprenticeship Program has helped us attract diverse and talented people to our industry and to Zurich, adding meaningful value to our business," said Zurich North America CEO Kathleen Savio. "Our experiences with the program have provided other benefits, including enhancing our delivery of on-the-job learning. That has contributed to our culture of continuous development, which helps our people deliver for our customers in a rapidly evolving marketplace."
Zurich National Apprenticeship Week Summit: To introduce apprenticeship to high school students, military veterans and other potential candidates, Zurich will host its second annual National Apprenticeship Week Summit on Nov. 13, in a virtual format this year. Swiss Embassy Academic Associate Jan Keim, who completed a bank apprenticeship in Switzerland before moving to the U.S., will talk about the Swiss tradition of apprenticeship and how his apprenticeship set him up for success. Several current Zurich apprentices and apprentice alumni will be part of panel discussions sharing their experiences and tips. Zurich Chief Human Resources Officer Laura Rock and Apprenticeship Program Head Al Crook also will speak during the summit, which is from 9 to 11 a.m. Central time. Those interested in attending can email [email protected].
"Apprenticeship is a time-honored tradition in Europe and in the trades such as construction," Rock said. "But in the fast-changing innovation economy of today, it may be more valuable than ever in closing skills gaps and opportunity gaps across industries and sectors. We encourage both businesses and individuals to explore how apprenticeship can help prepare for a brighter future."
Chicago Apprentice Network: Zurich joined with Aon and Accenture in 2017 to create the Chicago Apprentice Network, which has grown to include more than 40 companies in the Chicago area. During National Apprenticeship Week, the network will launch a website, chicagoapprenticenetwork.org, built and powered by apprentices from CAN member companies. The website will offer insights and guidelines on starting a program, based on the experiences of the founders.
Other 2020 highlights: With 31 apprentices hired, Zurich's Cohort 5 is its largest and most diverse group ever. Due to COVID-19, the format of the apprenticeship program was quickly converted to remote education and work in collaboration with Harper College in suburban Chicago and Borough of Manhattan Community College in New York. Cohort 5 began the program in August.
In September, the Zurich Apprenticeship Program earned one of nine inaugural Pledge to America's Workforce Presidential Awards, given in Washington, D.C. It also earned a Brandon Hall Gold Award for Human Capital Management, which will be given in January.
Zurich will be announcing further expansion of its program in early 2021.
Zurich North America is one of the largest providers of insurance solutions and services to businesses and individuals. Our customers represent industries ranging from agriculture to technology. Zurich North America is part of Zurich Insurance Group, a leading multi-line insurer that serves its customers in global and local markets. Read more at www.zurichna.com/services/about-zurich.
SOURCE Zurich North America