The COVID-19 Actuaries Response Group has called on actuaries who can volunteer at least 25% of their time to get in touch with the group to help the UK government respond to coronavirus.
The call to arms identifies modelling as a key desired skill set, although general actuarial skills like the ability to collate data, critically assess its value, and create simple spreadsheet models, may also prove “invaluable in many areas”.
After approaching various government agencies, the group found that actuaries could help with the logistics of providing critical services to vulnerable citizens who require to be 'shielded' across society.
Government agencies also require people with actuarial, statistical and mathematical skills to understand the potential demand on their finances and service demand.
Meanwhile, the Royal Statistical Society has asked people with experience in data science and developing large-scale dynamic models to provide their expertise in response to the pandemic.
“What we are looking for are actuaries who are willing to roll up their sleeves and get involved in modelling and data analysis," the COVID-19 Actuaries Response Group said.
“Although we will need actuaries with deep modelling expertise, please do volunteer even if you don't feel that you have the greatest modelling skills.
"From our discussions, it is clear that government could also use actuaries with data analysis and interpretation skills - these are skills that are core to what most of us do every day.”
Since its formation earlier this month, the group has published five bulletins exploring the potential impacts of the virus and how the government has responded.
Its latest statement highlights various examples of when actuaries have been needed in times of national crisis, such as during WWII, when actuarial analysis made a “disproportionately large difference” to the war effort.
“In past times of national need, actuaries with the right skill sets have made a difference with the application of their skills to government needs,” the statement says.
"This is a critical time for the UK, and from our discussions, we have the skill set to be able to support and help the UK in its time of need."
Actuaries who want to volunteer their time can contact the group on [email protected]