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ERSA News Alert

Posted By Heather Ette, 07 March 2018

£1.5M Government Fund to support people returning to work after caring

News Alert from ERSA

  • Fund will help parents and carers return to work in the private sector after time out for caring responsibilities
  • Existing schemes in the public sector bring returners back to vital public service professions such as healthcare and social work
  • Amber Rudd: “Truly striking” that nearly 9 out of 10 people out of paid work because of caring duties are women

Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities Amber Rudd has announced a £1.5m fund to support people back into work after time out caring.

The fund, which launched on Monday 5 March, will offer grants to projects which help people to return to work in the private sector.  

These projects could help returners update their skills, provide other training, or support businesses to increase employment opportunities for returners.   The fund will prioritise projects that focus on small and medium enterprises, employers outside London, and projects that support returners at all skill levels.  

This is part of a commitment of £5m made by the Prime Minister in the 2017 Spring Budget to help people back into employment after a career break.  

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 £1.5m 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.”  

Returner programmes also help private companies, allowing them to benefit from returners’ expertise, as well as reducing training costs by hiring experienced individuals who often only need a small amount of support to update their skills.  

A toolkit and guidance have been created to support companies that would like to employ returners. The guidance, which was developed by Timewise and Women Returners, 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 & 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.”

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