Meet Bhavtik, who joined Hastings Direct in 2016 and completed the Customer Representative Apprenticeship, along with the CII qualification*, in June 2020. He tells us how his learning experience has already helped him progress within Hastings and has moved into a Quality Assessor role.
Bhavtik – firstly, congratulations on completing your training. Why did you opt for an apprenticeship?
When the apprenticeship was offered to me, I had been with the business as a Customer Representative for a while and thought this could be an opportunity to learn more about insurance, expand my knowledge, help others and ultimately progress in my career at Hastings Direct.
How did you find your learning experience?
I thoroughly enjoyed it as I hadn’t done anything like this since leaving university 20 years ago. The training is all done online with learning materials provided via the BPP University website, textbooks and regular webinars. I also attended four skills workshops at the BPP University in London where I got a chance to meet up with other apprentices from our Bexhill office and the lecturers. There is continued support available all the way through and every apprentice is assigned a coach from day one. We had regular contact to ensure that I had all the resources available to me to complete my assignments. Our Leicester office also has a designated room that’s available to use at any time for anyone who is completing the apprenticeship. It meant I could network with other apprentices and share best practice to achieve my end goals. My team leaders and CCL were also extremely supportive the whole way through.
The most memorable and fun part of the apprenticeship was setting up my own fundraising event to raise money for our local charity partners. This was part of an assignment and helped me understand how hard charity teams work behind closed doors.
What opportunities have opened up for you as a result of your apprenticeship? And how did your apprenticeship prepare you?
After completing the apprenticeship, I applied for a role within our Quality Assurance team. I successfully passed a competency interview to be selected for the role and joined the team last November. The apprenticeship helped me to build the knowledge and tools to do my job better. There is guidance on personal development and building a career plan to work towards short-term and long-term goals. I learned about the legal and compliance aspects of insurance which got me interested in applying for my new role. The assignments that I completed also helped me to build my portfolio of examples that I could use in my interview but also towards my PDR. I have been made to feel welcome by my new team and I’m enjoying learning the new processes.
What elements of your apprenticeship are most useful to you on a day to day basis?
I’ve applied many things to both my previous role in the contact centre, as well as my new role such as customer relationship management, team-working, resilience, flexibility and more. I also use the learning from modules I covered such as ‘delivering results’, ‘problem solving’ and ‘continuous improvement’.
Was there anything that surprised you about the apprenticeship as a development opportunity?
Learning about all aspects of insurance has opened my eyes to how big the insurance world is. Alongside the apprenticeship I also achieved my CII qualification. This is recognised by the wider insurance industry and involves all aspects of general insurance with modules including Insurance, Legal and Regulatory, Insurance Underwriting Process and the Claims Handling Process.
If, like Bhavtik, you’d like to start a career journey by joining the Customer Representative Apprenticeship with Hastings Direct, click here for Bexhill-on-Sea or click here for Leicester.
*Chartered Institute of Insurance