A new programme from Women Returners will provide 30 paid returnship placements with Scottish employers for experienced women looking to get back into skilled business services employment following an extended career break, thanks to support from the Scottish Government’s Workplace Equality Fund.

The programme has been developed following a successful pilot last year, which connected experienced women professionals from the financial services industry with 12 leading employers including RBS, Standard Life Aberdeen, Prudential and CYBG.

Returners participating in the new Returners to Business Services Programme will take on a 16-week paid professional placement with employers in the legal, financial, consultancy and fintech sectors, with the possibility of ongoing employment at the end of the programme. Employers will benefit from access to a high-calibre and relatively untapped talent pool of experienced women professionals.

Employers who sign up to the programme will be provided with returnship consulting, promotional, line manager and returner support from Women Returners, which is being fully funded by the Scottish Government. Each returner who joins the programme will be fully supported by the Career Returners Coaching Programme along with an internal mentor and the peer support of other women on the programme.

Barclays Scotland has already committed to offering placements on this programme, with many other business services companies registering an interest. Positions will be secured and advertised by September, with placements starting in November and running until February 2019.

Hazel Little, Coaching and Programme Manager at Women Returners said: “Following the overwhelming success of our financial services returner programme, we’re pleased to have the opportunity to open up another funded programme to skilled women looking to get back into the broader business services sector.

“It’s crucial that women who have taken career breaks are provided with supported routes back into the workplace.  These placements enable women returners to make a positive contribution to a business, while being supported to update their skills and experience. Today we’re calling for employers interested in bringing in talented and experienced women to their organisation and for women looking to get back into business services employment.”

Lindsay Winter, Resourcing Manager at CYBG added: “Being involved in the Returners to Financial Services Scotland programme has been a really positive experience and it was a pleasure to meet so many incredibly smart and knowledgeable women during the process. We committed to offer three women roles at CYBG and each has settled into their new positions and is making a significant contribution in their teams, as well as the wider business.”

Vicki Gurney from the Returners to Financial Services Scotland programme commented: “Support on the programme has been exceptional with engagement from my employer and the experienced Women Returners’ coaches who really understand the challenges in returning to work.”

Jacinta Stewart, HR Director, Barclays, said: “Barclays is delighted to participate in the Returner to Business Services Programme led by Women Returners. This programme allows us to move closer to our ambition of building a truly inclusive working environment and enables women to develop their careers. This is a great opportunity to benefit from the wealth of returner talent available in Scotland and support professional women who want to return to work.”