Helping professionals back into work following a career break is an issue under the spotlight once again following the budget announcement that £5m will go towards extending return to work schemes to all levels of management. How this funding trickles down and impacts remains to be seen but the intention is to give those who have taken long career breaks the opportunity to refresh their skills and build professional networks.
Coming back to work after a break – for whatever reason – can be a difficult transition. Trends and skills evolve quickly in many industries, and internal roles shift and adapt. But in many cases, these returnees are valued professionals with much to offer. According to data from KPMG there are 96m skilled women around the world aged between 30 and 54 who are currently on career breaks. Of these, some 55m have gained experience to middle management level or above. If they all returned to the workforce, the result would be a £151bn boost to the global economy each year.
Some businesses are ahead of the game, providing training, mentoring and networking to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible. However, our own data suggests that such support is not widespread. Just 7% of UK firms said that they are seeing more mums returning to the workforce than last year.