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This theme has the following objectives:

  • Ensure our sector’s approach to recruitment and talent acquisition is welcoming and accessible for potential employees from all backgrounds, experiences and seniority.
  • Create a diverse range of entry points to begin a career or make a mid-career change into our sector.
  • Demonstrate that insurance and long-term savings offers a wide range of attractive career opportunities for many different skill sets.

In 2023, we focussed our work on the ‘Attract’ theme on two main issues – neurodiversity and apprenticeships.

Neurodiversity is an intersectional issue and is often linked to other disadvantages employees may face. For example, neurodiverse employees may suffer mental health problems because they feel the need to “mask” their true selves at work, and need support from their employers. In turn, while neurodiverse people often need specific forms of support, employers who offer this will find this can be used to support other employees as well.

We see apprenticeships as providing valuable lifelong learning opportunities, benefiting individuals at various career stages (rather than just as an alternative to further education for recent school-leavers). We want to see the money our members invest in the apprenticeships levy used to build a talented and more diverse pipeline of talented leaders and innovators across our sector.

A summary of our activities in these two areas is included below.

Neurodiverse talent: Improving awareness and inclusion

We are a founding member of the Group for Autism, Insurance, Investment and Neurodiversity (GAIN) and has been vocal in encouraging member companies to join as well. GAIN’s mission is to spark a radical improvement in the employment prospects of neurodiverse people in our sector by matching the industry’s talent needs with the capabilities of neurodiverse individuals.

We have worked together with GAIN to help create networks of industry peers seeking to create opportunities for neurodiverse people and to raise awareness. During Neurodiversity Celebration Week, we participated and supported a cross-industry promotion campaign “Creating Pathways to Neuroinclusion” which included educational materials, events, and testimonials from neurodiverse individuals working in the industry.

We have seen encouraging progress -

  • A 10% annual increase in firms that have a specific policy in place to support neurodiverse individuals within the workplace.
  • The number of companies collecting data on neurodiversity has increased from 40% to 47%.


ABI deserve huge credit for recognising and giving prominence to neurodiversity in the Blueprint. ABI were amongst the very first to express, and deliver, strong support for GAIN and our mission - to improve, radically, the employment prospects of neurodivergent people in our industry. The changes needed - crucial, but not expensive or difficult - are now properly underway in many ABI members. The insurance industry is becoming a role model for other sectors. The Blueprint is going to embed and accelerate this.

Laurie Edmans CBE, FCII Co-Chair GAIN (Group for Autism, Insurance, Investment and Neurodiversity)


Zurich Case Study

zurich-insurance-logo-1.jpgZurich wants to attract and retain the best talent while making their physical and mental wellbeing a priority. They have a strong focus on neurodiversity and have shared some of the steps they have taken below. 

In 2021 Zurich was founding member of GAIN, the Group for Autism, Insurance, Investment and Neurodiversity, which supports the careers of autistic employees and potential employees, and in 2023 were the first to become a GAIN ‘Industry Transformer’

They knew that the neurodivergent colleagues within Zurich brought a strong and differentiated skillset. Working with GAIN enabled them to bring together insights from real life experiences alongside a wide range of resources – most recently a benchmarking exercise across areas such as recruitment, retention, leadership, culture and environment to highlight areas to celebrate but equally important, demonstrated areas where there is more work to be done. 

In 2023 they also announced a 3 year programme with ‘Ambitious about Autism’ to develop a national programme supporting the mental health of autistic pupils in mainstream secondary school. Linked to that, Ambitious about Autism are also developing training for Zurich's staff. You can see examples here: 

Zurich DEI case study image.png

auticon is a ground-breaking IT/ Data consultancy whose consultants all have a diagnosis of autism, and who have made great strides in boosting diversity and inclusion in the insurance industry. In recent years, Zurich has worked with auticon on numerous different projects across Switzerland, the UK, and most recently with Zurich Insurance plc where teams are analysing claims data to create innovative frameworks and reporting tools. 

They have a disability focused Employee Resource Group of some 300 people, and within that a group that focuses expressly on autism. Important and  insightful reflections from some of their neurodivergent colleagues in the two articles here: 

The A listers – part I        The A listers – part II


Apprenticeships: Progress on our industry pledge

In 2022, we and our members pledged to double the number of apprenticeships across the insurance and long-term savings sector to 2,500 by 2025, to boost socio-economic diversity, expanding career opportunities in our sector cross the UK, and to enhance access and inclusion.

More action is needed if we are to meet this pledge by 2025. Although most of our members have increased the number of apprenticeships offered, reductions by a small number of firms have offset this progress.

Apprenticeship schemes 2021 2022
Total apprenticeship schemes 1430 1231

Insurance practitioner or insurance professional apprenticeship scheme

221 253

We and our members remain committed to this goal.

In August 2023, we hosted two roundtable meetings with members to share good practice, raise awareness and build a strong evidence-base. Later this year, we will host a further roundtable with Davies, an apprenticeships training provider an Associate member, to ensure all of our members understand the different apprenticeship schemes available and how different colleagues can access them. We will also be discussing how apprenticeships strategies can be aligned with DEI strategies.

We have developed a position paper setting out actions that can be taken to deliver an increase in apprenticeship opportunities, including to address some of the barriers firms are facing. The paper will be published later in 2023.

Next Steps for our Apprenticeship Pledge

As part of our apprenticeships pledge, we are working with industry bodies such as the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), the Financial Services Skills Commission (FSSC) and training providers to identify shared opportunities to make apprenticeships attractive and inclusive.

In 2024, we plan to further leverage these networks to raise awareness in our sector and identify opportunities to make apprenticeships more accessible. We will also use our position paper as the basis to identify targeted reforms that can make the system of delivering apprenticeships more effective.

Davies are proud to be supporting the ABI pledge and are available to guide members to utilising insurance apprenticeships and levy funds effectively. 

A number of ABI members have also donated levy funds via Davies to increase insurance apprenticeships in their broker networks.

2023 saw the launch of Insurance Bootcamps for the unemployed and the launch of Davies Academy – a brand new Flexi-apprenticeship solution, both boosting attraction and access for diverse groups into insurance careers, in partnership with JobCentrePlus and UCAS.

In 2024 Davies will continue to host the Insurance Sector Apprenticeship Taskforce for its fourth consecutive year and welcomes any members of ABI that would like to be involved in shaping the future of insurance apprenticeships.

Carolyn Blunt FCIPD Vice President Davies Academy


This progress update is based on data from our most recent DEI Data collection (2022)

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