Is now the time to reignite your work life following a career break?

18 Jun 2019


When it comes to caring obligations for family or even friends, it is indisputable that women have historically dominated care responsibilities. It is quite staggering that 90% of people out of paid work caring for the home or family, are women.

Returning to work following a career break, put simply, can be daunting.
There has been a justifiable focus on barriers to female returners, such as a lack of flexible working opportunities or indeed affordable care. Then, of course, there are concerns about out of date job skills and training; all reasons cited why women do not return to the workplace.

However, at long last, things are changing and changing for the good.
A recent government-commissioned research project identified that if more women stayed in the labour market and in more productive sectors, a potential £150 billion could be added to the economy within six years.  The value of female returners is therefore considerable.

Minister for Women, Victoria Atkins commented:

For too long, taking time out of work to care for others has cut short careers and brilliant, talented women are unable to re-enter industries which will not support them to return. This is a huge loss not only to those individuals but to our economy and businesses all over the country.”

In response to the research, the government recently awarded funding to a handful of organisations across the UK to run pilot schemes, not only help those caring to return to work, but to also engage local employers.

Reignite Bootcamp fans the flames of ambition for female returners

St Helens Chamber has developed a pioneering free programme called Reignite Bootcamp. Unlike your typical training course, Reignite Bootcamp has a much more holistic approach, providing relevant skills and knowledge tailored directly for the individual. Add to this both mentoring and support, plus the fact childcare costs are covered during the three-week programme (09.30 – 15.30), and you have a pretty appealing offer.

Perhaps, however, the most interesting element of Reignite Bootcamp is via the involvement of many local firms and employers, who are committing time and expertise to the project, allowing attendees to not only gain valuable work experience but even secure full-time employment.

Tracy Mawson, Deputy Chief Executive at St Helens Chamber, said: “As the research tells us, the main challenge in the private sector is helping businesses, particularly small businesses, to understand the needs of returners and giving them the skills to enable them to both recruit and retain this untapped group of people. It is also important for employers to identify the transferable skills and knowledge that a returner brings from their periods of absence from the workplace. Returners should not be pigeon-holed or judged based on their circumstances. Rather they are a huge asset, and it’s great, so many local companies are on board with the programme.”

For more details about the reignite programme, please call Starting Point on 01744 698800 or email