95% do not offer a returnship programme


The majority (95%) of employer respondents do not currently offer a returnship programme for parents looking to re-enter the workplace, according to research by Totaljobs.

Its survey of 2,623 UK employees and 98 UK employers, also found that 69% of employer respondents would implement a returnship programme if the initiative was incentivised by the government, for example, in the same way as the apprenticeship levy.

Returnships are high-level internships aimed at individuals who are looking for a new career path or to return to work following a break in their career.

The research also found:

  • 15% of employer respondents are aware of returnship programmes.
  • 72% of employee respondents would consider taking part in a returnship programme if they were to take a career break.
  • 21% of employer respondents who have been made aware of returnships believe they would offer this to their employees.
  • 46% of employee respondents who have participated in a returnship programme have done so because they struggled to find a full-time job, compared to 38% who took part in a returnship scheme to help ease them back into the workplace, and 16% who completed a returnship because they did not feel confident immediately returning into a traditional full-time role.

David Clift (pictured), HR director at Totaljobs, said: “Returnships are an excellent way of welcoming employees back into the workforce, utilising their skills and making sure talent isn’t lost permanently. While returnships could be one of the ways of closing the skills gap the UK is facing at the moment, there is much work to be done in educating employers and recruiters on the benefits of such programmes. We are optimistic that these findings, as well as the government’s support, will encourage more employers to offer returnships and show those looking for ways back into work, that returnships are a viable track.”