BGL Group has been named in a league table of the country’s most outstanding apprenticeship employers.
It comes after a record number of applications for apprenticeships at the financial services company which has its head office in Peterborough and a contact centre in Bretton/ a contact centre and tech hub in Sunderland.
BGL made the prestigious line-up due to the success of its apprenticeship programme in terms of both the outcomes for and the diversity of its apprentices, who come from all walks of life – from school leavers, to those returning to work after a career break, or people who want to take their career in a different direction.
Although BGL only launched its Academy in 2018, it joins some of the biggest and most established apprenticeship programmes in the UK on The Top 100 Large Apprenticeship Employers list released by the Department for Education.
Announcing the shortlist, Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, said: “Now more than ever we should celebrate businesses who are driving our efforts to build a stronger, fairer, and more competitive economy.
“High-quality apprenticeships give people from all backgrounds and ages a real choice in life, providing them with the skills employers value, which our economy needs, and which lead to better paid jobs.
“These modern employers are at the heart of levelling up our workforce, and with the extra support we are providing will help the country build back better from coronavirus.”
Rachael Gillett, Chief People Officer, BGL Group, said: “It’s fantastic for us to appear in this list alongside some very long-standing apprenticeship schemes.
“Since we set up the BGL Academy, we have created more than 200 apprenticeships. This has been a key part of our People Strategy, to ensure we’re able to attract and retain talented people to meet the current and future needs of our business, together with providing great career development opportunities for new and existing colleagues.
“Apprentices make up about six per cent of all colleagues at BGL and contribute a huge amount to our business in terms of their skills, diverse views and experience to help us innovate and deliver good outcomes for our customers.
“We have seen great results from those apprentices who are completing their programmes, with many progressing through the business into more senior roles.”
More than 400 organisations applied for a place on the list and BGL polled in 71st position.
Keeley Tansley, 23, joined BGL after completing her A-Levels at The Deepings School in Peterborough. She started on BGL’s Pathway Apprenticeship programme, where school leavers get to experience different areas of the business on rotation while studying for a Level three Certificate in Insurance. From there, she joined BGL’s Corporate Partnerships team and embarked on a Higher-Level apprenticeship, studying for a Diploma in Insurance and achieving a distinction. She now works in BGL’s Insurance and Aggregation team as a trading executive, where she’s doing a great job of supporting key strategic insurer brands.
Keeley said: “After A-levels I just didn’t know what route I wanted to take. BGL’s Pathway Apprenticeship scheme gave me the opportunity to try lots of different business areas – all massively different – to see what suited me best, while gaining a valuable qualification.
“After completing the certificate, I studied for the next level, a Diploma in Insurance, applying through the academy for an Insurance Professional apprenticeship.
“Having these recognised qualifications is a massive USP when applying for roles. The diploma is designed to provide you with a firm understanding of insurance fundamentals and enables you to build towards advanced technical knowledge, which I felt was the perfect way to support my future career path.
“The qualification took two years to complete, culminating in a final assessment where I provided a portfolio of work to prove the modules I had chosen, supported and had an impact on my current role.
“I would definitely recommend it. It takes time and commitment but it’s so worth it to get that experience as well as a recognised qualification and I have had excellent support throughout.”
With over 10 million customers, BGL is a leading digital distributor of insurance and household financial services and home to brands including comparethemarket.com, LesFurets.com, Beagle Street, Budget and Dial Direct.