Portfolio Manager at Zurich Insurance Group Gavin Hill spoke to FE News about being part of Zurich’s data upskilling drive through Avado’s Data Analyst Apprenticeship. 

The key to starting my apprenticeship at Zurich through Avado was recognising that my industry was becoming increasingly reliant on skills outside of my existing abilities. I decided I needed to upskill in order to keep pace with future requirements in the industry.

The emphasis on being able to interpret data and analytics was becoming increasingly prevalent within my role and while I did pick up new skills ‘on the job’, I felt it was important that I learn to build on these skills in a more formal capacity. Improving my data skills became a passion project, and I would dedicate time to learning how other businesses were applying data to their everyday operations. I hoped that I would be able to apply these skills at Zurich one day.

With the insurance industry becoming more data-led, my employer was also looking at options for employees to improve data skills across the entire organisation. Zurich’s learning and development team began offering Avado’s Data Analyst Apprenticeship programme to employees and I jumped at the opportunity to join.

From the outset I began developing new things, learning basic coding skills and how to deliver key insights from large data sets for my team to use. However, not too long into the programme we were hit with the pandemic which changed both how and where we worked. During this time I benefitted from the support mentors provided and Avado did a great job at adapting their learning and assessment structures to remote platforms to accommodate the new circumstances.

While working remotely I made an important connection between the projects I was completing as a part of the apprenticeship and my daily workload. I could see first-hand, how the application of data analysis was benefiting my work. I was also practising the processes I was learning by applying them to real-world situations.

This was a standout moment for me because I began to see an improvement in our team’s overall efficiency, and we had time for new tasks. In fact, I often analysed new forms of data on behalf of Zurich while mentoring others and improving my apprenticeship portfolio. It felt like I was going above and beyond what was expected of me at work while building on my personal development at the same time.

Now I have completed the apprenticeship, I will continue to seek new ways to work with data, as well as apply the knowledge I have gained during my time as an apprentice to benefit my whole team. The course has exceeded all expectations while enabling me to develop both as an analyst and mentor.

I would recommend a data apprenticeship to anyone, especially to those who are already working within data-driven industries and looking to improve their skills or take their first steps in the sector. The course will leave you with a firm understanding of how to approach data more strategically and implement this within your work teams.

Gavin Hill, Portfolio Manager at Zurich and Data Analysis Graduate at Avado

See the FE News article here:


Nilesh Jha