What's the bike?
A lot could depend on the size of the engine. Most tests in the UK are on bikes around 650cc, and this is what insurers expect people with new licences to ride. I've also noticed that insurers are very wary about bikes over 1000cc. I'd been riding for a few years when I bought a 1200cc and insurance was hard to find (despite clean licence and 5 years NCB), and when I did get it, it was pricey. The next year I had no problems at all, because I'd already done a year on a bigger bike.
My advice would be to use the comparison sites to get some quotes for different engine sizes, and see what comes up. Also try some older bikes too. That way they'll find out what's possible to insure. Then get some quotes for the current bike, but saying the licence is a year old, and see if they can get insurance for that. If all's well, they could perhaps buy a bike to ride for year and bide their time, and then sell it on once they can get insurance on their own bike.