Learning at Work Week (15 to 21 May) is a good time to focus on how the financial services sector is addressing access to education and training, and what more the industry can do to support employees’ personal and professional development.

The annual event is delivered by the Campaign for Learning, an organisation which works for social inclusion through learning. In that context the week raises important talking points relevant to the financial services sector, not only in terms of addressing skills gaps and supporting recruitment, but also diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) issues.

That’s why AILO is supporting Learning at Work Week as part of its year round drive to show leadership on DE&I in the life industry. Gwen Graham, Co-Chair of AILO’s DE&I Committee, explains why it’s so important: “This year’s Learning at Work Week focuses on the themes of creating the future and supporting opportunities for lifelong learning. For AILO, education is one of the organisation’s three pillars, along with advocacy and analysis. So we’re backing this campaign as part of our ongoing commitment to education, and our DE&I programme, because it’s vital that we do everything we can as an industry to ensure education is accessible to all.”

She added: “In recent years we have found that eLearning can play a very important role in terms of increasing accessibility to the industry. Certainly the response from our members to our eLearning modules clearly shows that there is a demand for this type of service. We find that these modules are especially valued in the context of helping member businesses to train staff who are new to the life sector. We see Learning At Work Week as an opportunity for all businesses in the financial services sector to plan ahead for the remainder of this year and into 2024 regarding their strategies to support accessibility to the industry, and continual personal and professional development.”

An example of AILO’s leadership on these issues is that our eLearning platform has delivered over 5,000 modules since we launched it in January 2020, offering a total of 11 hours of CPD across the current nine modules. Building on that success, and in response to requests from members for more eLearning opportunities that meet the training requirements in the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD) and related legislation, we are about to launch a new CPD programme which provides a detailed view of the cross-border life insurance, pensions and wealth management sectors.

Simon Willoughby, our Proposition Executive, has devised much of AILO’s eLearning programme. He said: “The new AILO Navigate Series of eLearning modules builds on the original programme and has the stated objective of ‘guiding you through the complexities of the life insurance market’. AILO Navigate 1 consists of 15 one-hour modules that aim to demystify the life sector by delivering information in an accessible form that gradually reveals the ‘mysteries’ of the industry in a way that’s engaging and allows individuals to move through each module at a pace they can control. The AILO Navigate Series takes the view that aspects of the life sector can be complex, but it should be possible for everybody who works in the sector to be able to gain a firm grasp of how it all works. AILO Navigate 2, currently in production and due for release in early 2024, will provide a series of practical case studies and problem-solving exercises that build on AILO Navigate 1 which will allow individuals to demonstrate their understanding and application of the IDD.”

AILO’s eLearning modules are available to all our Members. Contact secretary@ailo.org for more info.

Go to learningatworkweek.com to find more information about the campaign and a range of useful resources to help companies get involved, from inspiring ideas plus workshops and events, through to tips on how businesses can use the week as a starting point to build long-term initiatives.

Gwen Graham, Co-Chair of AILO Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) Committee

Simon Willoughby, AILO Proposition Executive