The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries is launching a new apprenticeship for school leavers to help them find work in technical and analytical support roles
Starting later this year, the training scheme will provide apprentices with an internationally recognised Certified Actuarial Analyst (CAA) qualification as well as on-the-job-training. The IFoA said it would take around two to three years to pass the qualifying CAA examinations.
'This is fantastic news for young people in the UK,' said IFoA chief executive Derek Cribb.
'The CAA recognises that employers need to professionalise staff in their growing pool of technical, analytical and actuarial support roles.'
The IFoA's apprenticeship scheme is being launched in National Apprenticeships Week and comes as Prime Minister David Cameron announced a shake-up of apprenticeships. The 'Trailblazer' scheme will give employers greater control and clearer standards against which they can measure progress.
Cribb said: 'A series of exciting new apprenticeship opportunities in financial services is opening up and Trailblazing employers who sponsor their apprentices through the CAA examinations are offering young people a professional qualification that will have international recognition.'
A list of supporting actuarial employers include: Aon, Barnett Waddingdam, Grant Thornton, JLT, Mercer and Munich Re.
The institute noted that professionalising technical roles was nothing new, highlighting roles such as paralegals and paraphysicians in the US, but in the actuarial field, while a number of successful technical qualifications already exist, none drew on actuarial science.
Cribb continued: 'We see the career path of our future CAA as being particularly flexible. Their skills will have relevance not only to traditional actuarial sectors such as insurance and pensions, but also to other financial sectors and a far broader corporate world.'
Also joining the Trailblazer apprenticeship scheme were partners in the insurance and risk management industry, including the Chartered Insurance Institute, the Association of British Insurers, the British Insurance Brokers Association.
ABI Director General Otto Thoresen said: 'The UK's insurance industry's worldwide reputation is built on the skills and expertise of its workforce.
'Bringing in new talent is essential and this new apprenticeship initiative will help encourage young people to join the industry and ensure it continues to play a key role in the fabric of people's everyday lives.'
The new trailblazers are made up of more than 29 sectors covering areas such as: health, law, media, hospitality and tourism.
National Apprenticeship Week ends on March 7.