Zurich expands graduate scheme with industry first ‘green graduate’ placements

By Barrie Hudson - 5 September 2023

  • Zurich's Unity Place building in the centre of Swindon

    Zurich's Unity Place building in the centre of Swindon

Swindon-based insurer Zurich UK has increased its number of graduate opportunities for 2023 while creating new 'green graduate' roles in the renewable energy space.

It says successful applicants on the Sustainable Energy Underwriting Graduate Programme will play an integral role in supporting global energy customers on their sustainable energy transition plans.

Graduates will develop their expertise across several areas including understanding, assessing, and reducing risk and claims, pricing and insurance frameworks – all with a focus on sustainable energy.

Zurich will offer a total of 33 graduate places this year. In addition, the insurer is increasing internship opportunities to 26 for 2024. 

Both types of placements are available across seven areas: Business Management, Data & Analytics (Ops & IT), Change & Tech (Ops & IT), Engineering – ZRS, Sustainable Energy and Actuarial and Finance. 

Michelle Ransome, Zurich’s Talent Acquisition Manager, said: “We are proud of both our graduate and internship schemes and the exceptional levels of talent we attract through them. 

"This year we are increasing our graduate intake with an additional two placements available, allowing us to nurture the next generation of talent within our business. We really walk the walk at Zurich when it comes to graduates, a number of our UK executive committee members started on the scheme including our UK CEO Tim Bailey. 

"We’ve made many adjustments to the recruitment process in recent years which is paying dividends for us when it comes to attracting a much more diverse range of applicants. 

"In fact, last year 40 percent of our graduate hires, including intern conversion, were from ethnic minorities. We’re also seeing a significant shift in applications from those from lower social economic backgrounds.”

To create a level playing field, the insurer has scrapped group interviews to accommodate neurodiverse applicants and provides every applicant who is assessed, successful or not, bespoke feedback to support their recruitment journey.

In addition, graduates will not be required to disclose which university they attended when applying, nor will a CV be used as part of the selection process, enabling hiring managers to focus purely on getting the best talent from the graduate world.

Finally, competency-based interviews have been replaced with strength-based assessments to ensure candidates from diverse backgrounds are not at a disadvantage. 

Both graduate and internship roles are available across each of Zurich’s UK locations including Swindon, London, Fareham, Glasgow, Birmingham and Cardiff.

Some 82 percent of interns from last year’s programme were offered positions on the insurer’s graduate scheme upon completion of their 10-week placement, helping to achieve Zurich’s goal of attracting and retaining early-in-careers talent. 

Current summer interns are working on a project to support ‘Zurich’ Club Blue, Zurich’s broker proposition. Interns are completing research and collating feedback that will be used in the market to support, inspire and encourage broker partners on their sustainability journey. 

The project will give interns the chance to showcase and hone their skills as part of the Retail Sales and Distribution strategy.

Following a successful pilot during 2023, Zurich is also offering an industrial placement programme for students on a sandwich course.

Applications will be open from 11 September for both graduate posts and internships. The application deadline has been extended to the 5 November to allow more time for candidates to apply.

Applicants for the graduate scheme should visit www.zurich.co.uk/careers/graduate-schemes and for internship schemes www.zurich.co.uk/careers/internships

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