Open Eye: Insurance for a bright future

CGU's link with the OU extends beyond a business deal - and into business classes

Insurance giant CGU joined forces with the Open University earlier this year to offer graduates and students an affinity insurance scheme. Every policy taken out means a donation to the OU's Development Fund. But, as Yvonne Cook discovers, the company's association with the Open University goes deeper.

In addition to its affinity relationship providing home, travel, and motor insurance at special rates for the OU community, the CGU currently spends around pounds 100,000 a year putting its staff through a management development scheme run with the OU Business School courses.

"It's a tripartite arrangement between the individual employee, CGU and the OUBS," explains Barry Dyer, CGU's Director of Organisational Learning. The employee gives 8 to 12 hours a week of their own time; the business provides funding and some in-house workshops, run by OUBS, which give students the opportunity to come together. And the learning material and tuition are provided by the OUBS. Students can work towards the Certificate or Diploma in Management, or the full MBA.

What advantages does the organisation see in the arrangement? "CGU has 100 branches around the UK. The OUBS is nationally based, so there will be a tutor group wherever our students are, and we are able to offer the same opportunities to all our staff," says Barry.

"Training demonstrates our commitment to developing the managers of the future. We are keen to grow our own talent within the company."

Acceptance on the scheme is not automatic - applicants undergo a selection process. One of the successful ones is Stewart MacKenzie, a senior underwriter based in CGU's Perth office. He gained his Professional Certificate in Management after 11 months study, and is now on another stint to achieve the Diploma.

"I hadn't done any formal study since I left school at 17, more than 20 years ago. I found it difficult at first to get back to studying, but the support was there to enable me to do it.

"I chose this programme because I can walk away with a professional qualification after just one or two years. Or I could find myself going for the full MBA. "One of the best things has been meeting other people from all different areas in the public and private sector, at day schools and residential schools."

Open Learning manager Christine Bishop set up the first pilot scheme with the OUBS in 1994 for General Accident. When GA merged with Commercial Union last year, the scheme remained and was incorporated into a CGU programme.

"We had done our own internal training and would try to get people onto MBA programmes, but we had a lot of drop-outs. The whole MBA was too much for some. We wanted something that took people on from where our training left off and built them up to something else.

"The OUBS programme offered the standards and a progression from Certificate to MBA. But if people stop at Certificate or Diploma, that's fine. Some of the original pilot group are now finishing their MBA."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Cleaner

    £15000 - £16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you've got first class custo...

    Recruitment Genius: Mobile Applications Developer / Architect - iOS and Android

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity to join a medium s...

    Recruitment Genius: Telesales Account Executive - £40K OTE

    £11830 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Working in a friendly, sales ta...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Designer

    £15000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...

    Day In a Page

    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
    10 best statement lightbulbs

    10 best statement lightbulbs

    Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
    Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
    Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

    Dustin Brown

    Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
    Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

    Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

    Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
    John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

    Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

    'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
    Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

    Forget little green men

    Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
    Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

    Dying dream of Doctor Death

    Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
    UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

    39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

    There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
    Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

    Computerised cooking is coming

    From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water