NFU MutualNFU Mutual
NFU Mutual is one of the leading general insurers and financial services organisations in the UK. From our humble beginnings in 1910, we've grown into a leading UK insurer with an award-winning portfolio of products. Now, with a strong team of over 3,500 and approaching a £1.5 billion annual turnover, we have an ever-growing customer base, impressive solvency margin and an exciting range of career opportunities.
Our Professional Trainee Scheme helps us find and develop people who may, one day, lead our business. Every year, we look forward to taking on new trainees and watching them grow and develop into amazing, integral parts of our organisation. If you're looking for incredible support and opportunities and you'd like to build a career on solid foundations, look no further.
- Name: Jeff Puckering
- Role: Professional Trainee
There's so much training available. That's why NFU Mutual was made for me. I knew I had the ability to develop a career here, I just needed the training to give me the specialist knowledge.
I'm only three months into the Professional Trainee Scheme. I'm on the corporate scheme and we do four placements over three years. When I say we, there's only four of us on my scheme! Which is great, because it means you have a lot of time, energy and resources focused on you.
NFU Mutual and their Professional Trainee Scheme first came to my attention when I had an email from Milkround. I saw the logo and thought I'd go and have a closer look at the website. Why? First off it was the training aspect. I mean, you sort of see millions of jobs and companies and they often sound the same. But in the NFU Mutual email, the people development side of things really stood out. The scheme looked good and I wanted to get on board.
At the moment I'm in HR, then it's off to Marketing, then Strategy. My final placement's with Group Programme Management. It's great to get such a broad view of the company. Yes, it can be pretty intense but it's impressive to know that the company is putting that much investment into you and your development. In my current placement, I've been shadowing people on a couple of HR projects. They're big projects which affect a large part of the business, so I get quite a lot of exposure to senior managers. I also have – and I've been pleasantly surprised by this – real input into these projects. Your ideas are listened to and, providing they're good ones, taken on board as part of the plan. I've also been to one of the regional service centres and plan to visit all nine of them. So I'm getting out and about. And I love that. I mean, it's quite easy, in a role like HR, to get trapped at your desk, but it's not like that here. You're encouraged to see the business, meet people and spread your wings!
As I've mentioned, training's a big, important thing for me. As well as the structured learning and the support to gain recognised professional qualifications, we have access to all courses that are happening here. So if you have a skills gap, you're encouraged to fill it. I'm keen to get properly up to speed with the Microsoft packages so that's one I'm looking out for at the moment.
- Name: Jamie Glover
- Role: Professional Trainee
The support and training we receive has really helped me to develop and I'm excited about future opportunities within the business.
I was one of the first – and one of just nine – to join NFU Mutual's Professional Trainee Scheme back in October 2010. The scheme appealed to me because I got to move around the business. And that's the whole point: it's designed to give you a full and well-rounded working experience within NFU Mutual. And I can certainly vouch for that! There are four nine-month placements over three years and they're all very different. So far I've been to Head Office Underwriting, Life Services and Head Office Claims. There's also the option to spend one of the placements with the Group Process Improvement Team. My final placement is in the Midlands Regional Service Centre, within our claims and underwriting teams. I'll also spend time out in the Agency network, gaining a greater insight into how the Agencies function on a daily basis.
If you're thinking about applying for the scheme, do it. You see and learn so much and the support's great. In each of the placements you have a placement manager. You can go to them with pretty much anything. And then, sitting behind them, there's the Talent and Leadership Team to support you. Everyone here has bought into the scheme, so when you're doing your placement they understand that you sometimes need time off to study, or to go on a course to continue your development. You'll also have the opportunity to gain a professional qualification. By the time I've finished the scheme I'll be ACII qualified. I'll also have achieved Prince2 Practitioner status, a project management qualification. In addition I'm doing some work through the Institute of Leadership and Management, as well as attending courses to enhance my IT and presentation skills. All really useful. Towards the end of the scheme we have a Career Development Centre taking place, where we'll be assessed by senior managers. It'll be tough, I'm sure, but I'm up for the challenge!
What do you need to get on here? I'd say adaptability. Each placement tests you in a different way. And you need to be prepared to take yourself outside your comfort zone, because it's the best way to learn. Strong interpersonal skills are important too, so that you can build great working relationships as you move around the business. And you've got to be able to manage your own time because I can guarantee you will have a lot going on.