Reward talks to an award-winning apprentice about her experiences in a scheme

Beth McNeil

Although Beth McNeil was offered a place at Manchester University to study genetics, she found that she wasn’t enthused by the interview, and looked at apprenticeship opportunities instead. “University fees are so high, especially if it’s not something you’re really passionate about,” she says. “When I was offered the RSA apprenticeship, I instantly accepted.”

Instead of having a degree and no job, McNeil is on the career ladder, but also has the support of RSA in gaining professional insurance qualifications – the company pays for her exams, while a colleague experienced in Chartered Insurance Institute exams takes time to help her with her studies.

“Having that support is a huge benefit,” says McNeil. “It’s a very supportive environment in general: our leaders and managers encourage us to network and meet people in the industry, as well as allowing us time off to attend CII seminars – and giving us interview feedback and practice.”

Winner of the 2015 Insurance Times Apprentice of the Year, McNeil is an enthusiastic supporter of the apprenticeship concept. “I'd strongly recommend that people consider one. I’m earning money and developing my career while learning RSA’s skills, processes and values.”