Zurich to retrain 3,000 UK employees for the future of work

Workforce analysis from Zurich, conducted alongside AI analytics platform Faethm, has identified 270 robotics, data science and cyber security roles that could go unfilled by 2024 if employees aren’t prepared for the future of work.

This research also revealed that two thirds of the UK workforce will see a tenth of their roles augmented in the next five years.

To address a growing skills gap, Zurich has invested nearly £1 million into reskilling staff in 2020 alone, which will look to cover two-thirds of its workforce over the next five years.

The extended timeline drawn out in the initiative could enable staff to to further enhance and develop their careers by embarking on new skills and projects across the business.

It’s predicted that the long-term upskilling of home-grown talent could also save the business £1 million in recruitment and redundancy costs alone.

Within automation, Zurich has introduced over 120 new automated interventions which process over a million individual transactions a year, with a further 100 in the pipeline.

Future-proofing measures already implemented by Zurich UK include:

  • The launch of its Data and Automation Academies, the first financial services provider to do so, which reinforced the development and support of automation, robotics and innovation across the UK business;
  • Evolution of the Automation Academy to facilitate solutions to support its claims commitment and maintain customer outcomes;
  • A partnership with the University of Winchester to help develop a three-year Data Science Apprenticeship degree, with seven of Zurich’s employees already embarking on the course;
  • Plans to create a teaching module: ‘A New Mindset: Leading in a Digital Era’, to empower managers to within Zurich to educate their workforce.

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John Keppel, COO of Zurich UK, said: “The skill set of our workforce is constantly changing. As an industry, we battle for top market talent to try and fill that gap.

“At Zurich, we don’t believe it has to be this way. Whilst we can’t ignore the benefits that automation brings, it’s important to retain, nurture and educate our teams.

“This is a clear opportunity, not a threat to our employees. It’s crucial that we factor the future skills requirements for the business into the process now. If we know what’s coming, we can start transitioning existing employees into new careers today.”

Alastair Robertson, head of continuous improvement and automation at Zurich UK, commented: “My team is a perfect example of how to nurture existing employees for the future.

“There are many preconceived ideas about implementing automated processes into a business and how it these roles must be carried out by tech specialists. In reality, the best people to do this effectively have worked within the function that you’re looking to automate as they really understand the process.”

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Aaron Hurst

Aaron Hurst is Information Age's senior reporter, providing news and features around the hottest trends across the tech industry.