Returner initiatives

Companies and Government can help you return to work

If you are planning to return to a corporate role after a long career break, the good news is that there are many re-entry initiatives and resources that will help you make that transition.

Employer initiatives
More employers are becoming “returner-friendly”. Some offer work placement programmes, which are sometimes known as “returnships”. Generally on such a work placement programme, you would benefit from:

  • Coaching support
  • A buddy or a mentor to support you
  • Some re-training to bring your skills up to date
  • A paid placement for a period of usually 3-6 months.

Although these programmes do not guarantee a job at the end of the placements, they are a great way of giving you an opportunity to really determine whether you want to resume your career, and also to add recent experience to your CV.

Other companies don’t offer short-term programmes but rather are “always on” for returners. This means they actively seek out returners for permanent jobs and often offer them coaching, a buddy or mentor and some re-training.  Some even go so far as awarding extra marks in recruitment processes for individuals who want to return to work.  Many returner-friendly employers are open to flexible working arrangements.  Technology is also being used to give employees greater freedom about where they might work.

So, how do you find these returner-friendly employers?  They are in their infancy in Ireland but returners are an established source of talent in other countries.  So it is only a matter of time before returner programmes become widespread here. In the meantime, join up to our community  and we’ll inform you about any programmes we know about. 

Since early 2017, Springboard courses have been made available free of charge to “homemakers”.   Springboard is a Government-funded initiative which offers free, part-time and intensive conversion higher education courses for job-seekers.

Many returners fall into this category.  This higher education initiative offers free courses at certificate, degree and masters level leading to qualifications in areas where there are employment opportunities in the economy.  Visit the Springboard site for a full list of courses

Of particular interest is the Postgraduate Certificate in Creative Thinking, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Trinity College Dublin which is targeted specifically at returners. Visit this section of the Springboard website for more details

Many professional bodies run refresher courses for returners who want to brush up on their technical skills. So if you are, or were, a member of a professional body check with them to see if they offer returner training.

Other initiatives
Women Re-BOOT is an initiative for qualified women who have existing ICT skills and want to return to the sector after a career break. This programme is free to job seekers.  You’ll find more details on the Women Re-BOOT web page.

Many professional services firms are very receptive to alumni who want to return after a career break.  If you worked for a legal or accountancy firm it’s worth contacting them to see if they have a returner programme.

If we learn about more courses, or other opportunities for returners, we’ll alert returners by email.