A recent survey by Totaljobs showed that 85% of employers were not aware of back-to-work schemes such as returnships, so if you haven’t come across this term either then you are certainly not alone. However, what is worrying is that employees reported a highly positive response to these back to work schemes – yet only 4% of employers are offering these opportunities to workforce returners.
So What Is A Returnship?
A returnship is a high-level internship opportunity that will assist professionals when they are looking to either re-enter the workplace after time off work, or seeking a new career path in a different industry or sector.
Returnships are ideal for mums who have been out of the workforce while focusing on children and the employers benefit from these employees too because it gives them a chance to tap into a talent pool that is often under-utilised.
Most returnship programs are paid and will typically last between three months and six months on a more interim basis and tend to be targeted at mums returning to the workplace. This is mainly due to the nature of the work and the fact that many will be drawing from prior work experience but also contributing valuable existing skills within their new role.
And Why Are Returnships Important?
By encouraging people to return to work following a career break is a really positive step towards incorporating highly qualified and skilled talent back into organisations; returnships offer some major benefits to the wider community and to UK businesses as a whole.
A returnship will help support existing staff and create a more diverse team dynamic as you will be bringing many different backgrounds, skills and life experiences together.
But Are Returnships Popular?
Returnships are facing a huge hurdle and not because there is a lack of popularity or interest, but more a lack of awareness. As we said, only 4% of businesses are offering returnships and just 15% of employers in the UK have heard of the returnships concept.
That said, research shows that one in every five employers are willing to offer such a programme and this matches the 72% of candidates that have said that they would consider participating in a returnship scheme.
Sounds Great, How Can I Get Started?
As an employer you can begin implementing this scheme immediately. We want to encourage employers to use their initiative and start putting returnship plans into motion as this will help attract and retain talent within businesses as the employment rates in the UK continue to rise.
Take a look at your business and see what you can benefit from skilled and experienced workers; also look at how your competitors are utilising returnships and how this could work for your business. Contact our HR professionals for a free consultation, on 01223 855441.
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