First minister supports programme

Scotland trials ‘Back to Work’ scheme for women

Nicola SturgeonScotland is to trial a scheme to help bring experienced women back into the workplace after a career break.

The Scottish Government will work with employers across the country to pilot a ‘Returners’ project which will help women update skills and knowledge.

The project will smooth the transition back into the workplace for both women and employers.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon made the announcement as she opened Deloitte’s new Glasgow office where she met women who have benefited from the firm’s Working Parents Transitions Programme to help them back into work.

She said: “Many women struggle to get back into work due to a lack of access to flexible working that allows them support care commitments. They can lose confidence and relevant skills after being out of the workforce especially in the science and technology sectors where technology has moved on at a rapid pace.

“Every woman must get the best support to return to work and that is why we will pilot a Returners project, working with employers to get the right processes and training in place to help women back into work.

“Deloitte recognises the importance of supporting women and its transition programme in helping parents make career choices and a successful return to the workplace.

“Greater equality of opportunity is a priority for my Government and that applies to everyone. When we tap into the diverse talents and the rich experiences of everyone, we’ll have a stronger economy and country.”

Deloitte also today signed the Scottish Business Pledge, making a commitment to nine good business practices including the Living Wage, workforce diversity and family friendly workplace policies.

The First Minister added: “I am pleased that such a large business, with more than 530 employees in Scotland, has made this commitment, setting a good example to other firms of its kind around the country. Their Pledge sits alongside more than 260 ambitious and innovative companies and is good for business and good for Scotland.”

Elaine Boyle, a corporate tax director at Deloitte in Edinburgh, is one of the beneficiaries of the firm’s Working Parents Transitions Programme (WPTP). The WPTP is available to any primary carer working at Deloitte and is designed to help new parents make a smooth transition back into the workplace following maternity or paternity leave.

She said: “I was particularly encouraged by the sessions provided to line managers to ensure they understood how best to support those returning from maternity leave.”

To further enhance its offering to new parents, Deloitte is also extending its Return to Work Programme in England – which was launched as a pilot in September 2015 and is the first of its kind among professional services firms.

The 2016 scheme will last for 20 weeks and aims to help women in senior positions, who have been out of work for more than two years, transition back into the workplace.

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