Government launches new guidance and funding for returners

New public funding and best practice launched today aims to support people returning to the private sector workforce after career breaks spent caring for family members.

Women caring for older relative
Delivered a year after it was first pledged in the 2017 spring budget, the £1.5million fund will offer grants to projects that help people to return to work in the private sector.The government envisages the fund could help returners update their skills, provide other training and support businesses to increase employment opportunities for returners. 

New government funding for reskilling after career breaks

Launched in the same week as International Women’s Day, 8 March, the funding is part of the government’s wider strategy to build an evidence base on what measures could help to close the gender pay gap.Commenting on the launch, Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities, Amber Rudd, said: “It is truly striking that nearly 90 per cent of people out of paid work because they are caring for the home or family are women.“Too often people struggle to get back into paid work after taking time out to care for others. That is a huge loss not only to those individuals, but to our economy and to businesses all over the country.“That’s why I’m delighted to announce this government will be launching a £1.5 million fund to support people, particularly women, back into work after time out looking after children and other relatives.“By offering meaningful work that pays, the fund will give people who want to return to employment the opportunity to use their valuable skills, talents and experience.”
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Getting careers back on track after caring commitments

The new fund will prioritise projects that focus on small and medium enterprises, employers outside London and projects to support returners at all skill levels.In addition, the government is also planning a Cyber Security Skills impact fund, run by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. This will look for initiatives that help women who have been out of the labour market due to caring responsibilities get jobs in cyber security. 

Employer toolkit and guidance for supporting workplace returners

The government is also launching a toolkit and guidance for setting up a returners' scheme, developed by recruiters Timewise and consultancy Women Returners, which is aimed at employers across sectors and of all sizes.The toolkit, sponsored by Vodafone, explains the business benefits of employing returners.Vodafone UK General Counsel and External Affairs Director and member of the Women’s Business Council, Helen Lamprell, said:“Vodafone is proud to support Returners: A toolkit for employers. Having launched ReConnect – Vodafone’s programme to help both women and men return to work after a career break – we’ve seen first-hand the benefits of hiring returners, and the positive impact this can have on them, as well as on our business.“We are keen to share what we’ve learned, and to learn from other employers, so that we can all do more to support people back into work. With this toolkit, which contains best practices and clear advice on supporting returners, we hope to help even more employers develop returner programmes of their own.”
Relocate Magazine Winter 2017 front cover
Read more about the future workplace and talent mobility in the Winter issue of our magazine
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