Following updates in local Government guidance, some businesses are now permitted to reopen.
As many businesses have been closed for significant periods of time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are likely to be a number of checks that will need to be carried out in order to help ensure safe restoration of site operations.
You’ve very recently joined our apprenticeship scheme. It’s been brilliant to have you onboard! How has it been for you so far?
I feel so lucky that my first job is somewhere so welcoming. The whole recruitment process and my first few weeks were very smooth, therefore I felt relaxed and comfortable quickly. This is my first job within an office environment, which is something I felt anxious about when applying. I was concerned that I wouldn’t be as capable as the other people around me and these fears were immediately put to rest as soon as I stepped foot in the office. Everybody is so friendly and easy to get along with, I just couldn’t believe how calm I felt coming into work on my second day.
There is a genuine sense of involvement and care from my colleagues, which meant that I was learning everything to its fullest, assuring I was understanding the reasoning behind each action within my work and the work of those around me.
It’s obviously been a challenging time to join in light of current lockdown restrictions in the Channel Islands. How has that affected you as a new team member and have you been able to find your feet on your new career paths?
I am quite fortunate because when I joined in November, it was coming into the Christmas period so there were a couple of work events that I was lucky enough to go to. This meant that I had an opportunity to meet everyone in and out of the work environment which immediately helped me feel even more settled. By the time lockdown hit us, I knew there were some things I could do working from home with little guidance, but I had a lot of apprehension about other aspects of my job which I was still learning about.
However, once again, everyone was simply amazing in that respect and I have received all the help and training that I need. The best part about this team is that I never feel like I am annoying anyone! No matter how many times I need to ask a question or ask for some help, nobody gets exasperated with me. The patience they have is amazing.
What do you do to break up the working day during lockdown? Do you have any recommendations like particular podcasts, hobbies or exercises, for example?
I found it hard to fall into a routine because I tend to get bored and need to switch things up. I alter my days by sometimes working out in my lunch times, taking the dog out or playing some piano. Sometimes I’ll just go upstairs and lie in bed (which I really enjoy). I have been obsessed with a podcast called ‘Off Menu’ with James Acaster and Ed Gamble; it’s a comedic podcast where they invite somebody new each time to their ‘dream restaurant’.
The guest is asked their ideal meals and drinks and consequentially, conversations from childhood, memories and all sorts of things come out from these questions. It is really amusing and tends to make time go by faster. It also makes me hungry though. In the evenings, me and my boyfriend will binge Hell’s Kitchen religiously.
What are you working towards through the scheme and do you have particular ambitions?
I am working towards my CII certifications and then eventually my diploma. I think that this scheme and qualifications will set me up for a fantastic career path within insurance, and to be able to start my path in this line of work within the ICCI office in Guernsey is such a blessing. I hope to stay in ICCI for a long time and become more experienced in the insurance world and improve at my job a lot more. I do have ambitions to travel widely when the world is back to normal but my main goal is to achieve my insurance qualifications, as that is most important to me at the moment.
What drew you to our apprenticeship scheme?
I was introduced to this job via a recruitment agency and without a doubt, it stood out so much more than any other jobs that I saw. Firstly, the initial page describing the job position and how it was an apprenticeship scheme was very appealing to me. To do an apprenticeship is something I had never considered but it is ideal due to the fact you are learning and gaining impressive and necessary qualifications whilst earning money and working in an office environment.
Furthermore, I had heard lovely things about ICCI and the general work environment, so it seemed like something that would work well for me. The interview process was, for me, the thing that topped it off. The assessment day was a unique and effective way of getting to know the work place and decide whether it was the place for me and whether the employees thought it would be a good place for me as well. Because this interview process enabled us to get to know each other in a different way to a lot of standard interviews, it made me feel much more comfortable and suited in the job.
We value our apprentices and the apprenticeship scheme highly. Have you felt supported during your apprenticeship so far?
I have felt incredibly supported throughout the last few months. Not once have I felt out of my depth, because there is always somebody looking to help me and ensure I am feeling okay and comfortable. There hasn’t been a single time where I have been afraid to ask a question. The company has organised for me to still receive my training twice a week, even through lockdown; This is ideal because I was worried that my progression would be halted whilst working from home as it isn’t as easy to learn when you aren’t in the environment. However, ICCI still made it work and I feel as though I have made improvements and learned new aspects to my job.
It is early days but what do you feel you have learned so far from your experience?
I have learned that no question is a stupid question. Everyone has been in the same position that I am in and really, people just want to help because the company is at its best when everybody is fully confident in what they are doing. I have gained so much information and confidence in things that I would have never expected to know a thing about! It just goes to show that you can really do anything if you are surrounded by good people and a support system, which ICCI does so well.
One last question: do you have any advice for anyone that is looking for a new career path?
My main piece of advice would be to rule nothing out! You really don’t know what the right thing for you is until you have opened your eyes to all the options. I spent so much of my life fixating on one specific area in terms of career, that I never even considered doing anything else and that really dampened my options when I left school. Since being a bit more open to other ideas, and finding this job – I have never been happier and felt more comfortable and secure! So I would really advise to keep an open mind always, in all aspects of life as well.
Q: You’ve very recently joined our apprenticeship scheme. It’s been brilliant to have you onboard! How has it been for you so far?
A: I have really enjoyed my apprenticeship so far. Insurance was not something I had previously thought about as a career path. However, coming back to Guernsey during a global pandemic meant that I was open to any opportunities the Island had to offer. I was so lucky to have landed such a great opportunity with such a fun and welcoming office environment. Although I have not been with the company for long I have learnt a lot in a short space of time and enjoy the work that I do.
Q: It’s obviously been a challenging time to join in light of current lockdown restrictions in the Channel Islands. How has that effected you as a new team member and have you been able to find your feet on your new career path?
A: It is quite intimidating to be so new within a company and be working from home. Having to overcome wifi issues, computer malfunctions and countless ‘sorry the phone cut out can you say that again please’, I now feel settled into my new normal. Along with my daily workload, I receive training calls to talk through more difficult cases and review my work. My team have 3 meetings a week which is great to catch up and still be part of some form of normality. We have been able to do zoom socials, which is a great opportunity to relax together as a team and get to know my colleagues.
Q: What do you do to break up the working day during lockdown? Do you have any recommendations like particular podcasts, hobbies or exercises, for example?
A: I have enjoyed being able to spend lots of time with my black Labrador puppy, Henry. I am trying to teach him some cute dance moves and it’s going well! I have also been doing an embroidery project which has kept me relaxed. To get me though the day I have been listening to Radio 1’s Scott Mills Daily Podcast, and an endless amount of musical theatre soundtracks.
Q: What are you working towards through the scheme and do you have particular ambitions?
A: After my probation period, I will work towards gaining qualifications, starting with the Certificate in Insurance. I am excited about the ability to keep progressing in the underwriting field, with achievable milestones to reach along the way. As I progress in my career I aim to develop my insurance licence to allow me to deal with larger cases.
Q: What drew you to our apprenticeship scheme?
A: When starting my job search my priorities were to find an office where there was a community atmosphere, as well as the ability to progress in my career. Having had little office experience prior to applying I was looking for a role in which I would be supported to learn from scratch on the job and so an apprenticeship was perfect for what I wanted. What drew me to this apprenticeship is that it builds a strong foundation in underwriting which I then have the ability to keep developing through self-study and qualifications.
Q: We value our apprentices and the apprenticeship scheme highly. Have you felt supported during your apprenticeship so far?
A: I have definitely felt supported during my apprenticeship. Especially whilst working from home it has been very reassuring to have such a helpful and supportive team. Knowing where I can go if I need advice, whether about work or not.
Q: It is early days but what do you feel you have learned so far from your experience?
A: A priority that ICCI have had in my training is that I develop an understanding of the whole company including the processes that the customer would go through. This meant sitting with different members of staff in a range of teams. This was really helpful in knowing the purpose of my role and how my work impacts and is impacted by the other teams. Along with this I received one-to-one training and shadowed members of my team. As the weeks have progressed I have become more and more independent and feel confident in the work I am doing.
Q: One last question: do you have any advice for anyone that is looking for a new career path?
A: My advice for anyone looking for a new career path is to be open to new experiences. I think it is important to have priorities in terms of the environment in which you wish to work and how you want to progress, not to go into a job search with a preconceived idea about the perfect job, be open-minded and ask questions.
We recognise the adverse impact that Covid-19 is having on businesses, and that customers with Business Interruption insurance are keen to understand if their insurance policy will respond. This page contains information about the FCA Business Interruption test case.