The future is here, the future is London

As the market heads off for the summer break, it can do so happy that it has moved the needle on what has been a decades long talent debate.

The involvement of 50 market firms and over 100 volunteers in offering work experience to 115 sixth-form students is a genuine market first. Never before has the whole market come together to try and share with the next generation its story; that this is an exciting place to work, with career opportunities that rival banking, law and the professions. So, what have we learned?

First, simply that ‘we can do it!’ Young talent finds specialty insurance attractive when our story is told and told well. Our programme was oversubscribed four times, and the response from the students was incredibly positive. By coming together and collaborating we could deliver at scale and with an impact that no one firm can manage on their own.

These connections and interactions were totally visible not just in the physical session but through social media. It has been amazing to watch on social media.

The engagement on LinkedIn and Instagram has been huge, with students and companies all interacting, commenting, and connecting, in way I have never seen before, with over 50,000 interactions on the LMG’s social media alone.

The second is that it was a journey that made it successful not a single event. The Futures Academy started with an hour’s outreach in each one of our 50 partner schools.

From this, over 600 students expressed an interest in our profession by scanning a QR code, 400 applied for a placement and 115 joined us. There were keeping in touch sessions with market ambassadors. Three days of collective activity, four days of placement and a careers’ festival. The result, the market was talking to young people to whom they did not have to “sell” insurance – the students were already there.

As the CEO of the London Market Group, part of my job is to take feedback from the market – sometimes that is not always positive. However, perhaps for the first time in my career, I have not received one negative comment. Instead, there has been, from every side – students, employers, participating HR teams and market leaders, a sense of satisfaction and enjoyment at seeing our market taking its place as it should, among the leading City professions, and putting its wares effectively on display for the first time.

This, for me, is the secret sauce of the London market. Every day of our working lives we both collaborate and compete – that is our modus operandi. Which means we know how to work as a community, and when we do collaborate, we can be a real force for good.

And we will be back next year – 50 percent bigger, and with more firms involved.

Caroline Wagstaff

CEO, London Market Group

If you want to know more about participating, contact Caroline directly on: