Learning and development

Sun Life is fully committed to developing our employees to the fullest of their potential. We work extensively with all our colleagues to understand their training needs and we are proud to provide excellent internal and external training and career development opportunities to meet those needs.

Along with providing a suite of local options, the Sun Life Ireland Learning & Development (L&D) team works very closely with their U.S. and Canadian counterparts to provide access to vast amounts of virtual and in-person training led by qualified learning professionals. In addition, we provide 24/7 access to our online learning portal which provides access to on-demand industry relevant courses, books, videos, articles and more. We also encourage employees to share their knowledge with others using a bespoke video sharing platform, a project that was shortlisted for an Irish Institute of Training & Development (IITD) Award.

Our team of dedicated L&D professionals deliver a variety of training at all levels – including many technical courses such SQL, Excel and other desktop applications. Furthermore, we also provide career development training in areas such as coaching, communication, presentations, change management, design thinking, lean methodologies and Rosetta Stone language classes. People leaders within Sun Life are also offered dedicated tools and training focused on improving their management approach and effectiveness.

Sun Life Ireland supports and promotes certification and qualification opportunities for all. The L&D team has partnered with industry leading organisations such as the Life Office Management Association (LOMA), Life Insurance and Market Research Association (LIMRA), the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), Amazon Web Services (AWS), Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) and several others to provide an extensive range of courses and accreditations related to our business and industry. Sun Life Ireland has been presented with an "Excellence in Education" award from LOMA several years in a row in recognition of outstanding performance and commitment to employee professional development.

In recent years, Sun Life Ireland has developed a very close relationship with Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT). Located just a 5 minute walk from our Waterford office, employees can avail of numerous courses such as the Higher Diploma in IT (BSA), Springboard programmes and a Masters in Enterprise Business Systems. Sun Life provides generous financial support and flexible working arrangements for employees who enroll in these courses. What’s more, experienced Sun Life employees have helped to shape the content of these programs over the years and one of our senior I.T. leaders is a visiting lecturer on the Masters programme. We are extremely proud to have won a National IITD Talent Development Award recognizing the important relationship between WIT and Sun Life.

Our links with WIT don’t stop there! Sun Life Ireland also sponsors two prizes for undergraduate IT programs known as the "Sun Life Innovation Award" and the "Sun Life Enterprise Award." As the biggest IT employer in the South East, it is crucial to develop and maintain a relationship with talented graduates and provide them with local employment opportunities. We have also created “Horizon”, an annual programme that works with young women in I.T. courses and provides them with additional industry relevant training and mentoring. This reflects our ongoing commitment to a diverse and inclusive workforce.

Sun Life also has a partnership with Carlow Institute of Technology focusing on the increasingly important skills of cybersecurity and ensuring there is a pipeline of graduates for the security based roles available at Sun Life in Waterford.

We recognize the innate ambition and desire of people toward advancing their education and so we have a comprehensive education package in place to support this. Finally, learning is considered a cornerstone of our success at Sun Life and all employees are encouraged and supported to take ownership of their development and use the extensive learning options available to continue their career growth.

“The level of involvement of Sun Life in a course like this has been without precedent. There has been great support all the way through inception, initial validation, frequent reviews, regular contact, etc, as well as having Sun Life involved in teaching, the dissertations tying into the company objectives, and with Sun Life providing so many students. The way we run the Masters programme has influenced thinking in our Dept that has brought about positive changes in other areas (e.g. consultation with industry, organisation of the timetable). Students have benefited from the exposure to what is going on in other local companies which they get, often informally, from classmates on the MSc. In addition, WIT brought their Computing and Business schools together for the first time (based on a request from Sun Life to do so).”

Jimmy McGibney, Lecturer and MSc Programme co-ordinator, WIT

Stuart McMahon, Project Manager Sun Life

“SLF support made the MSc attainable… challenging but rewarding experience …made me think differently”

Gary Molloy, QA Manager

“Great opportunity …plenty of flexibility … along with a great support structure from colleagues and the organization.”