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Greater social mobility

SEO London illustration

Recruiting diverse talent to help transform our industry

We know that diverse organisations are better able to provide products and services that are representative of the diverse customers they serve. Community engagement is one of our keys to accessing a more diverse talent pool.

“Insuring Futures has clarified the opportunity set for diverse candidates within insurance markets, providing workplace skills and a sense of belief amongst participants such that they can see themselves thriving in roles across the insurance industry.”
Andrew Fairbairn - CEO and founder, SEO London

One of the biggest challenges facing the (re)insurance sector is the ability to recruit new diverse talent to develop the skills and knowledge needed to help transform our industry.

The insurance sector is a significant recruiter, with the London market estimated to hire around 20,000 people over the next few years. To achieve this there is a need to work together as an industry to make insurance an attractive career destination to more young people.

Community involvement is one of the key pillars of Lloyd’s approach and this is where our partnership with SEO London is making a difference. The charity delivers education, training, and mentoring support to young people from under-represented and under-served backgrounds, supported by the Lloyd’s Community Programme (LCP).

SEO London helps students from low socio-economic backgrounds and from ethnic minorities to broaden their horizons through access to academic, professional and enrichment opportunities, as well as equipping talented university students to launch successful professional careers.

Engaging with Lloyd’s has enabled the charity to launch a series of virtual events and workshops, introducing insurance as a career sector to the SEO London student population.

The ‘Step into Insurance’ initiative involved nearly 20 insurance companies last year, and featured CEO fireside chats, ‘lunch and learn’ opportunities and speed networking sessions, all geared towards improving the employability of students for roles in insurance.

Following these events, 86% of attendees said they would apply for an internship at Lloyd’s, 90% expressed an interest in pursuing a career in insurance and all attendees said their knowledge of the insurance sector had improved.

The partnership has also implemented a summer internship programme for UK undergraduate students to access paid work placements across the Lloyd’s market, of between six and twelve weeks. Last year the rigorous selection process saw 130 applicants vying for 27 placements across nine organisations. The successful applicants received dedicated support to ensure they got the most out of the scheme and gained valuable employment experience.

Each successful applicant was also paired with an industry mentor for the duration of their internship, as part of the SEO Summer Mentoring scheme, with mentees receiving one-to-one coaching on skills including leadership and communication.

The success of the initiative, and the value of these schemes for our industry, is reflected in the quality of the candidates selected for the internships. All of the interns taken on by firms were then recruited to permanent roles.

The partnership with Lloyd’s has also helped SEO London to grow its network both in the City of London and the wider insurance sector, driving awareness of the charity’s work and bringing the industry closer to this deep pool of future talent.

Lloyd’s is seeking to have a positive impact  by building  an inclusive market and therefore a more inclusive society. Our drive to recruit and develop diverse talent across the industry has involved taking action on gender parity and setting targets on ethnicity, as well as a strong focus on social mobility.

Of the 30 interns placed at Lloyd’s as part of the collaboration with SEO London, 50% came from an Asian background and 30% from Black heritage backgrounds, demonstrating our commitment to a society where everyone, regardless of background, has equal opportunity to achieve long-term professional and personal success.

About SEO London

The SEO London Insurance Programme, supported by Lloyd’s, began in January 2021, giving young people access to the Lloyd’s market and other top insurance firms in the London market.

Through the programme, Lloyd’s has engaged 1,200 young people from SEO London’s community through SEO London’s Careers and Schools programmes, and is also in touch with a number of talented secondary students from social mobility qualifying backgrounds to support them with progression to university and elite careers.

Candidates for the programme learn through workshops, mentoring, and work placements in London market firms. Students who attend all workshops and classes are also recommended for internships in the sector.

Since the launch of the programme, SEO London has placed 30 students into work placements across the market, with employees from Lloyd’s and across the wider London market volunteering to take part in the workshops and mentor students along their journey.

Critically, the programme has made more than 30 spring and summer internship slots available at participating firms, setting up those interns for early career success in the industry.

Community involvement

At Lloyd’s, we have a long history of working to support the communities around us. Through the Lloyd’s charities and the support of our market, we helped people and communities become more resilient, more sustainable, and more inclusive for over 200 years.