Just 4% of employers offer returnships to mums

 

New research by totaljobs on returnships shows their incredible potential for both employers and employees - and how they are currently underexploited.

Supported by O2 and Mumsnet, the research shows that 85% of employers are not aware of returnships, and just 4% offer them.

Most interestingly, two thirds of employers say they would offer returnships if they were incentivised by the Government in the same way as apprenticeships.

72% of returning employees would consider undertaking a returnship after a break from the workforce.

totaljobs surveyed 2,600 employees and around 100 employers to find that the potential of returnships are hindered by lack of awareness, not lack of interest. 95% of employers do not offer a returnship programme.

These high level internships are designed for professionals looking for a new path back to work after a career break. For employers, they’re a low risk opportunity to access an under-utilised talent pool and, in certain industries, an opportunity to tackle the gender pay gap.

Half of employees who have already completed a returnship or similar programme did so as they were struggling to find a full-time job. 16% admitted that they did not feel confident returning to a full-time role and 38% said that the programme did help their return to the workplace.

Returnships are particularly relevant to mothers returning from maternity leave. Women Returners Research by PwC indicates that over half a million professional women in the UK are on extended career breaks, 420,000 want to return to work at some point and two thirds will potentially work below their pay rate when they do, incurring a significant personal and societal cost to not helping women back to work.

O2 offers returnships and Clare McIntosh, Head of O2 Drive Insurance, and mother of three, told totaljobs “When I first came across returnships I was initially surprised as to why more companies weren’t offering them. I’d fully recommend returnships to others, however for it to be really successful I’d say it needs to be backed by an employer who encourages flexible working, like O2. The scheme enabled myself and other returners to re-build our confidence back into the work place.”

Totaljobs’ HR Director, David Clift, said: “Returnships are an excellent way of welcoming employees back into the workforce, utilising their skills and making sure talent isn’t lost permanently. While returnships could be one of the ways of closing the skills gap the UK is facing at the moment, there is much work to be done in educating employers and recruiters on the benefits of such programmes. We are optimistic that these findings, as well as the government’s support, will encourage more employers to offer returnships and show those looking for ways back into work, that returnships are a viable track.”

 

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

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