Global insurance broker Aon said it is expanding its corporate apprenticeship program with an investment of $30 million over the next five years.

With this expansion, Aon hopes to develop a nationwide network of employers to create 10,000 apprenticeships across the United States by 2030.

The company said it will form local Apprentice Networks in six new cities across the United States, building upon the approach of programs in the Chicago area and London that have helped bridge the gap between education and employment.

The program expansion will start with a class of more than 100 apprentices next year in the metropolitan areas of Chicago, Houston, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

The program provides opportunities for diverse professionals to earn as they learn new skills in the workplace. Apprentices are offered permanent positions with competitive salaries, benefits and financial support for the cost of education. Aon provides apprenticeships across the firm’s product lines and corporate functions, including areas such as human resources and information technology.

Since Aon launched the Chicago Apprentice Network in 2017 with Accenture and Zurich Insurance Group with a class of 25 apprentices, the Network has grown to more than 40 employers working with 740 apprentices.

“The apprenticeship program has brought so many talented colleagues to our firm and we know it has tremendous potential to create new opportunities and professional networks for both apprentices and participating employers across the United States,” said Greg Case, chief executive officer of Aon. “This is an innovative way for employers to attract and retain diverse talent, prepare future leaders and contribute to building a more future-focused, resilient workforce.”

Aon, together with Accenture, JP Morgan Chase, The Hartford and Zurich Insurance, will spearhead the expansion of the Chicago Apprentice Network to other cities. This will include collaboration with educational partners and nonprofits to create the Network’s infrastructure, similar to the approach with City Colleges of Chicago, College of Lake County and One Million Degrees for the Chicago Apprentice Network.

“Apprenticeships are a win-win for career seekers and companies that value diverse perspectives,” said Kathleen Savio, CEO of Zurich North America, which expanded its apprenticeship program from the company’s Chicago-area headquarters to New York this year, while helping to launch Insurance Apprenticeship USA (IAUSA), an insurance industry-focused initiative. “Expanding apprenticeship programs is an investment in a future-ready workforce.”

Aon launched its apprenticeship program in 2012 in the UK and in 2017 in the United States, training more than 290 apprentices globally.

Source: Aon

*This story ran previously in our sister publication Insurance Journal.