Zurich builds future-ready team from within

Zurich has announced plans to retrain two thirds of its workforce, or roughly 3,000 of its UK employees, over the next five years to upskill in-house assets in specialist areas such as robotics, data science and cyber security.

The insurer has already invested about £1m in the future proofing its existing workforce to build a "truly adaptable and agile team" in a move that will ultimately prepare it for the job roles of tomorrow.

It calculates that the business will save that same amount in recruitment and redundancy costs over the long term.

Already, the company's recently formed Automation Academy has supported the development of a 40-strong AI team, all of whom have been retrained from across the business. Each retrained team member has received an average pay increase of 10% in their first year alone, according to Zurich.

COO, John Keppel said: "The skill set of our workforce is constantly changing. As an industry, we battle for top market talent to try and fill that gap. At Zurich, we don’t believe it has to be this way. Whilst we can’t ignore the benefits that automation brings, it’s important to retain, nurture and educate our teams. This is a clear opportunity, not a threat to our employees. It’s crucial that we factor the future skills requirements for the business into the process now. If we know what’s coming, we can start transitioning existing employees into new careers today."

Separately, Zurich has partnered with the University of Winchester to help develop a three-year Data Science Apprenticeship degree. Already, seven of Zurich’s employees are among the first cohort embarking on the course, which is open to students from across the country.

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