Jack's 'Jack-of-all-trades' apprenticeship

Jack is dyslexic,  after one year of 6th Form he'd had enough - he tells us how his apprenticeship with Canada Life has proved a positive experience

Growing into a great career

After a year of 6th Form, Jack Brooker knew that continuing on in school wasn’t his aspiration – he really wanted to start working and earning money. It was his cousin, Claire who encouraged him to apply at Canada Life, a financial services company.

“I was having a moan about school,” confesses Jack, “and my cousin said she thought there were jobs going where she was. So I applied. The company said they were thinking about doing an apprenticeship and asked if I was interested.”

He was, and at the age of 17, Jack became one of the first two apprentices in the new Apprenticeship Programme at Canada Life.  

Rising to the opportunity

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"...best thing I’ve ever done.”

“Over the next 18 months I went through the programme, passing all the exams first time,” says Jack.  “I had a really good tour and overview of the different departments, moving around to a bunch of different teams…customer services, the contact centre, the accounts team, the medical underwriting team and the small quotes team.”

Once he completed the apprenticeship, Jack, went on to study the GR1 exam (insurance) and started thinking about what he wanted to do next.

“I thought that 'sales' would be a good role for what I was interested in.  I did some shadowing on the team, and then had an interview. That was two years ago and I’m loving my group sales role.”

According to Jack his placement and rotation within various Canada Life teams is an important reason he was able to capably take on the role he’s now in. He said: “It was really good to have the opportunity to go around and see how different areas of the business work. With sales, you’re kind of a Jack-of-all-trades, so having a broad understanding is an asset. If I’d just come from working on one team and not doing the apprenticeship, I think I’d really have struggled with the transition.”

Another factor which Jack says influenced his success was the targeted support he received from the team leaders and programme champions.

“I was diagnosed with dyslexia in school, which means I learn things a little differently to others. Canada Life was very accommodating and recognised my need to work differently, to understand certain concepts. I really appreciate their sensitivity and open-mindedness in helping me reach my goals.”

Evolving with the experience

Reflecting on his personal and professional journey, Jack says that his attitude and perspective have changed since his school days, just five years ago. He credits this, in part, to the Apprenticeship Programme. 

“I used to be quite badly behaved,” he confesses. “All my teachers in school used to call me a ‘likeable rogue’. I would be really naughty, but usually because I tended to get bored. Looking back, I think I was quite short sighted about not wanting to continue with education. Being an apprentice definitely changed my view. Working here and studying while also earning money at the same time pushed me to start behaving differently and I think I matured a lot from the experience. It’s definitely the best thing I’ve ever done.”