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    Posted 10 February

    AXA’s data academy apprentices

    Following the release of AXA UK’s investment in a data academy to upskill its workforce, support decision making, and enhance customer outcomes, and as its National Apprenticeship Week (8 – 14 February), here you will find three apprentices taking on the challenge of building their data analytical skillset with AXA UK and Avado.

    Meet the apprentices

    Among the 54 apprentices enrolled in the data academy, there are 23 women and 31 men. Half of them are under the age of 35. The youngest apprentice is 22 and the oldest one is 55.

    They are based in Ipswich, Tunbridge Wells, Teesside, Bolton, London, Weybridge, Bristol, Morecambe, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Gloucester, Leeds, Leicester, Manchester and Reading.

    They work in e-trading, risk, branches, claims, Human Resources, compliance, service delivery, finance, leadership, security, technology, audit, customer insights and operations.

    Here are three testimonies:


    Nicky Outlaw, HR Insights Manager and Data Analyst Apprentice, AXA Health

    Nicky is based at Tunbridge Wells and has been with AXA for eight years. At 55 years old, Nicky is embracing AXA’s continuous learning ethos by building her data analytical skillset.

    Why is data important in your role?

    Data use and analytics has become increasingly important for my role. I regularly utilise HR data in all sorts of ways, to produce HR insights, for instance, or conduct employee engagement surveys and support the wider HR team with data-driven organisational design.

    Why did you consider an apprenticeship during this stage of your career?

    I’m a keen learner and jumped at the chance to further my skills in data analytics to enhance business decision-making. As a mature student, I questioned whether I was too old for the classroom. Will I get left behind? Have I got time in an already busy job? I am so pleased I made the right choice. The apprenticeship has given me confidence in my ability to interpret and draw insights out of data, whilst also equipping me with new techniques to interrogate data effectively. I have already completed two related business projects that have added value to the organisation. With a year of my apprenticeship left, I am excited to keep learning as well as achieving my qualification. You’re never too old to learn.

    How have you found the virtual learning experience?

    Virtual learning was completely new to me and it took a few days to get used to remote learning. For me, it was important to be really disciplined and not tempted into dipping into the work inbox. Once we were underway, I settled into the experience and thoroughly enjoyed it – it now feels as natural as sitting in a classroom. Remote learning is also supported by a Learning and Development coach, which really enhances the learning journey.


    Shaun Dale, Senior Claims Auditor & Data Analytics Apprentice, AXA Insurance

    Shaun is a 38-year-old Senior Claims Risk Auditor based at AXA’s Bolton office. He has been with AXA since 2005, previously working as a claims handler for commercial property, motor and personal injury claims.

    How will your data apprenticeship support you in your role at AXA?

    Data analytics is only going to become more important in an increasingly data-driven world. As an external claims auditor, being able to utilise the data available will enable me to identify potential problems through patterns and trends, and to focus the course of any given audit. In turn, these insights will enable me to provide meaningful and clear actions to resolve those problems for the benefit of AXA, our suppliers, third-party arrangements and ultimately our customers.

    How have you found the experience of your apprenticeship so far?

    I have found the apprenticeship to be one of the best choices for personal development that I have made. The process was clearly explained, and I feel fully supported by both my employer and Avado. The virtual learning experience and platforms in the current climate have been excellent, with the virtual study weeks being a particular highlight. During my apprenticeship so far, I have learned much more than I would have done through reading or taking online courses, such as utilising new software (SQL, Orange, Power BI, R) to find data-driven insights. I know there are more exciting opportunities still to come.


    Harriet Schofield, Risk & Compliance Analyst and Data Analytics Apprentice, AXA Insurance

    Harriet is a 29-year-old mother of two who has been at AXA since the age of 17. Having worked in Household Claims for 11 years, Harriet recently moved to Commercial Lines. Based in the Morecambe office, she began her data analytics apprenticeship in November 2020.

    Why did you consider a data apprenticeship?

    Through my role, I handle a lot of data and produce many reports for our business. When I heard AXA had joined with Avado to offer this data analytics apprenticeship, I knew it would provide me with great tools for my day-to-day role as well as assisting me in future career progression.

    How have you managed study, work and life balance?

    I have always been very career-focused, so I was initially unsure how this course would fit within my day-to-day role, particularly as I currently work part-time whilst balancing caring responsibilities. However, the 20% off-the-job learning within working hours has enabled me to incorporate study into my working week. With the support of the training provider and my manager, and by utilising remote learning, I am able to juggle work, home and apprenticeship life really well.

    How will the apprenticeship help you in your role?

    This apprenticeship is providing me with the knowledge and experience I need to analyse data, highlight trends and even predict outcomes. This learning is already proving extremely valuable. Since starting my apprenticeship, I have managed to create many automated reports, one report alone has saved over three hours of manual time. I will soon be working on predictions for some of our data, which I have no doubt will have a large, positive impact within our business.


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