The government has launched a number of career break returner programmes, to help get people back into work.
The new initiatives, launched by the Minister of State for Apprenticeships, Skills and Women, Anne Milton, are also hoping to boost skills, build professional networks and close the gender pay gap.
The returner programmes – part of the £5 million fund announced in this year’s Budget – are formal schemes offered by employers to provide training and support to people who have taken time out of the workplace.
According to research conducted by PwC, addressing the career break penalty could provide a £1.7 billion boost to the UK’s annual economic output.
For female professionals, that could increase the annual earnings of that group by an average of £4,000 per woman.
The Government Equalities Office will be establishing four new returner schemes across the public sector. Later this year, returners will also be able to apply to programmes for social work, allied health professionals and civil servants.
The programmes are part of the government’s work to support parents and carers returning to work and are open to both men and women.
Speaking about the initiatives, Milton said, “We want to help people who are looking to get into work, which is why we are going to do more to help people get back into work after a career break.”
“Millions of us need to take time out from our careers, but it can be really hard to return.”
“This is bad for the people affected, and the businesses who miss out on their talents.”
“Women in particular find the routes back into employment closed off after taking time out to start a family.”
“These returner programmes will make it routine for women to go back to the workplace and get on with their careers.”
“It ultimately should also help us to tackle the gender pay gap.”
“I think it’s important that the public sector leads by example and introduces programmes to support people returning to the workplace.”