SA’S best insurance apprentice heading to London

14 September 2017 Santam

‘You’re fired.’ They are some of the most dreaded words, especially on the local TV hit The Insurance Apprentice – a gruelling national competition that sees the brightest young minds in the insurance industry compete in a succession of recorded challenges. Fortunately, Kabelo Paile, Relationship Manager at Santam, did not hear these words and won the 2017 season of The Insurance Apprentice.

Paile has since attended the 2017 Insurance Conference in Sun City and will be flying in October to Lloyds of London – the global leader in specialist insurance and reinsurance – as part of her prize. She says the accolade has given her a big confidence boost as the competition attracts the best-of-the-best in the industry. “I’ve met amazing people and had opportunities I could never have imagined.”

As a young woman in the insurance industry, Paile is positive about her future, “Now is the time for women to take a stance and get recognised – there are lots of opportunities available and women need to take full advantage of them. Additionally, companies are recognising that millennials are key to keeping abreast with change – they’re today’s leaders and customers!.”

Although the competition is currently local, Paile predicts it might become an international contest as it is watched by fans around the world. She says the exposure has been overwhelming – she often walks into a room and people recognise her from the show. Not bad for someone who almost didn’t enter.

As part of 2017 The Insurance Apprentice, contestants faced off in regional heats to be selected as the top-eight ‘apprentices’ to tackle six different tasks – each of which was broadcasted on Facebook, the Insurance Apprentice, FAnews websites and YouTube. Each weekly task tested a team’s knowledge of a different area of the industry and after every challenge, the losing team was dismissed its ‘weakest link’.

For months colleagues encouraged Paile to apply and not to let fear hold her back, which eventually gave her the confidence she needed to enter. For Paile, Santam is special because of its people. “I’ve only ever wanted to work at Santam because throughout my career I’ve had people open doors for me, believe in me and push me to believe in myself.”

Applications for the 2018 Insurance Apprentice closed on 31 August and Paile is excited for next year’s applicants. The competition has already changed her life in terms of the people she has met, bursaries received and career openings. Urging young people to enter future seasons, Paile says: “Take a chance, you won’t be under 35 forever. Put your hand up and enjoy the ride.”


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