UK professionals want more support to return to work after a career break

career break

Returnships are on the rise in the UK, with 79 per cent of the nation’s workers admitting they would be more inclined to join a company that offered a returnship programme, according to new research.

The study also found that 73 per cent agree that it’s difficult to get back into the corporate world after taking a career break, rising to 77.6 per cent amongst women.

The survey of 1,200 professionals explored how they felt about these internship-like programmes, used to help experienced workers re-enter the workforce after a career break, with over two thirds believing that not enough is being done to help these people return to work. This figure rose to 72 per cent amongst females.

The data also revealed that one in three professionals have taken a break at some point and when asked why they took some time out from work, respondents cited the following: to look after my children – 30.3 per cent, to care for a family member – 24.9 per cent, to take time out to travel – 24.2 per cent, to go back into education – 20.6 per cent and to set-up my own business – 15.9 per cent.

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library comments: “With one in three UK professionals admitting to taking a career break, it’s clear that this is not uncommon, especially amongst those who have children or a family to take care of. With this in mind, more needs to be done to help these professionals return to work after their break.

“With the majority of workers stating that they would be more inclined to work for a company which offers returnships, businesses should take into consideration whether these programmes could benefit their business and help them to attract and retain a talented workforce.

However, there still appears to be some mixed feelings about returnships. Over a third of professionals believe that they might not be such a good idea as there’s no guarantee workers will get the job when it’s over. A further 31.9 per cent said they believe that it could be a way for companies to exploit unconfident workers for lower wages. That said, the majority believe they are a good idea, with 47 per cent stating that they are a great way to ease people back into the world of work.

Biggins concludes: Though some clearly still have reservations about these schemes, for the majority, returnships seem like an appealing option. Businesses that are considering these programmes, or are already offering returnships, need to ensure that they are offering fair opportunities and pay to those taking part.

“Returnships could be a great opportunity for employers to upskill more senior professionals, and take on talented members of staff that could really strengthen their existing workforce. Not only this, but people that are given the opportunity to re-enter the workforce will likely remain more loyal to the company – a win-win for any business!”