Several first-time exhibitors in the insurance industry are join ing the Education and Careers Expo. New York Life Insurance Worldwide, Sun Life of Canada and the Eagle Star Insurance Group are lining up alongside previous exhibitor Prudential Assurance. Edwin Yung, project special ist for New York Life Insurance, said Hong Kong's insurance market had been growing at 10 per cent a year for the last five years. His firm had experienced 50 per cent growth since 1996 and now have about 60,000 policy holders. He expects growth to continue this year. 'In the past, Hong Kong peo ple believed there were better returns by investing in stocks and property. With the eco nomic crisis, they realised may be they shouldn't put all their eggs in one basket,' he said. 'Now they want something which is safe and guaranteed in terms of return, and insurance is a good alternative.' The company has recruited 60 people this year and is seek ing to take on another 30 more for its business development manager programme. During the one-year pro gramme, recruits receive both salary and commission. Mr Yung said the firm was looking for people with five years' work ing experience. Tommy Ng, director (mar keting and actuarial) of Sun Life of Canada, said the growing number of agents made for a competitive market. The firm is seeking to add about 200 agents to its existing pool of 300. Recruits with university de grees join the company as sales management trainees and Form 5 graduates join as life underwriters. All recruits go through a nine-day development pro gramme and a year-long train ing course two days a week.