Cherie Blair: “Give apprenticeships to stay-at-home mums”

In an essay for a family charity, the wife of former Prime Minister Tony Blair argues that stay at home mums should be given “returnerships” – which would be “like an apprenticeship but for those who have been out of the labour market due to caring responsibilities.”

Blair also said that employers should be encouraged to create more part-time “family friendly” jobs to tempt women back into work, reports HR Grapevine.

Blair says: “Many of the big decisions over progression, promotion and future career trajectory are taken when people are in their late twenties and thirties, putting women at a huge disadvantage because this is the very time they are most likely to be having a break to have children.

“But changing our society so our workplaces are truly open to the talents and life choices of women, and indeed people of all backgrounds, needs real leadership and effort.

“At a time when boosting economic growth is at the top of every politician’s “to do” list, this would be a good place to start,” she adds.

In August, research published by Slater & Gordon revealed that more than one in four mothers feel discriminated against at work while pregnant or after returning to their job.

Kiran Daurka of Slater & Gordon said at the time: “Despite the equality legislation in place, attitudes and working practices continue to block women in achieving their career aspirations in the UK.”

Over 47,000 women who take maternity leave each year find their jobs under threat when they return.

According to data analysed by the House of Commons library some women are forced into positions with less responsibility, in turn finding it more difficult to become promoted, after maternity leave.