Insurance company AXA is to invest £800,000 in a data academy to build skills in data analytics.
Fifty-four apprentices at AXA UK are currently enrolled in a data analytics apprenticeship which is being delivered by professional learning provider Avado.
The company said it wanted to build a “comprehensive data strategy” to help predict customer usage and demand for services, drawing data from sources such as smart technologies and wearables.
Announcing the launch of the academy during National Apprenticeship Week this week, it believes this is the first of its kind to focus on data skills.
The academy will provide skills across the business, including colleagues from underwriting, claims, HR and finance. The programme takes 18 months, and is aimed at employees who have not previously received formal training in this area.
The programme will combine virtual teaching sessions, online study and individual work-based projects. It fulfils the 20% ‘off-the-job’ training requirement set by the apprenticeship levy funding framework.
Employees will get to work on real-life data sets with real-life challenges, AXA said. Once they complete the level 4 apprenticeship, they also receive a British Computer Society diploma in data analysis concepts, and a certificate in data analyst tools.
Shali Vasudeva, chief operating officer for AXA UK & Ireland, said: “As an insurer, we have been leveraging data for a while, from underwriting to claims analytics.
“We know how crucial these skills are, and we are thrilled to be expanding them throughout the business so colleagues in various functions will be able to leverage data insights to support our customer relationships.”
Last year, the government announced a £24m fund to support the creation of conversion courses in data science, estimating the skills shortage in this area is costing businesses more than £2bn a year.