AIA S'pore offering 500 training places

Fresh graduates and mid-career job seekers hoping to join insurance industry can apply

Insurer AIA Singapore will offer up to 500 training opportunities for fresh graduates and mid-career job seekers hoping to join the insurance industry, with the option to pursue a career in the company or its financial adviser arm.

Participants can acquire soft and technical skills in areas such as financial planning and consulting under the scheme, run by AIA Singapore and AIA Group's flagship asset management company AIA Investment Management.

Eligible candidates will receive an allowance of $2,000 to $5,000 per month, with a bonus earned upon completion of certain training modules.

AIA Singapore's newly minted chief executive Wong Sze Keed told The Straits Times that the AIA Financial Career Scheme 2020 will groom local talent.

"The programme will give them the necessary skills to kick-start their careers in the financial sector.

"After the training, they can continue to be a financial adviser with AIA or if they want, they can easily seek employment at other financial institutions," said Ms Wong, who took the reins on July 1 and was previously chief distribution officer.

Applicants who meet the requirements will be enrolled progressively until March 31.

They will receive structured training over 10 months, leading to three certifications: the associate financial planner or associate financial consultant certification as part of the AIA Premier Programme, the Institute of Banking and Finance Priority Banking Level 1 certification, and the Foundation Investment Certification accreditation by AIA Investment Management.

After this, those who choose to remain in the scheme can attend further training programmes based on their preferences and development needs, taking their training to a total of two years.

All candidates will be assigned a mentor who will guide them towards completing the programme and having a career with AIA Singapore or AIA Financial Advisers as an AIA premier consultant.

Those who are interested can contact the company at www.aia.com.sg/en/about-aia/careers/not-just-another-job.html

Asked about AIA's workforce composition, Ms Wong noted that more than 90 per cent of its 5,000 representatives are citizens or permanent residents. The insurer also has more than 1,000 staff, although she declined to say how many of them are local or foreign.

AIA Singapore had more than one million policyholders and managed $51 billion in total assets as at the end of last year.

Mental health has been an area of focus for the insurer in recent years, and it is especially relevant now as more people feel stressed and anxious due to the Covid-19 outbreak, said Ms Wong.

"The future of health is not just about going out to exercise, but more importantly, making sure that we take care of ourselves mentally."

She also noted that a nationwide mental health study found that one in seven Singaporeans aged above 18 experienced a mental disorder in his or her lifetime.

Last year, AIA launched Singapore's first insurance policy that covers mental illnesses. AIA Beyond Critical Care insures against five mental illnesses, such as major depressive disorder, as well as critical illnesses.

The outbreak has also forced the insurer to undergo rapid digital transformation, noted Ms Wong.

When the circuit breaker started, AIA launched remote authentication and signature options so that agents do not need to meet customers in person.

Together with other tools to digitalise paperwork, this gives agents and customers a choice on how they want to meet.

The company also gave its more than 1,000 permanent and contract staff $1,000 each as part of a work-from-home assistance scheme.

Ms Wong said: "Covid-19 has changed the way we work and interact with customers... There might be other challenges thrown at us.

"At the end of the day, we need to be highly adaptable, look forward and try to future-proof ourselves."