New programme launched to help parents get back into work in Yorkshire and the Humber

150 parents to get one-to-one support and 25 employers to receive training to help them become more parent-friendly 

The CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, has launched a new programme to help 150 parents in Yorkshire and the Humber find employment who’ve been out of work for a year or more.

There are currently 41,866 people in Yorkshire and the Humber who are not in work, but would like to be, because of family commitments.

The CIPD Parent Returner Programme is being funded by the Government Equalities Office. 

The 150 ‘returners’ will get tailored support from CIPD members, all of whom are qualified HR professionals, through the CIPD Steps Ahead Mentoring programme, lasting up to 12 weeks. The mentors will use their expertise to help ‘returners’ build their CV, create or update their online profiles, succeed at interviews and boost their confidence.

The ‘returners’ will also have the opportunity to meet employers at a networking event taking place in March 2020. On finding work, they will be offered coaching to help them transition back into work.

25 organisations from the retail, law, tech, telecoms and STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) industries, all based in the region, have also joined the programme as Returner Champions. 

They will attend training and receive support to help them become more parent-friendly employers by increasing their flexible working arrangements, for example. Traditionally, these sectors have struggled to recruit ‘returners’.

Some of the parents involved in the programme are expected to go on to find employment with the organisations that have signed up to be Returner Champions.

As well as directly impacting the individuals and organisations involved, the programme is expected to have a ‘trickle-down effect’ and lead to an increase in the number of jobs offering flexible working by other employers in Yorkshire and the Humber. 

Once the pilot phase of the programme is complete, there are plans to roll it out nationally through the CIPD’s network of volunteers.  

Any parents wishing to get involved in the programme can find out more information at www.cipdparentreturner.co.uk. Further details on the programme can also be found at www.cipd.co.uk/parent-returner-programme.

Peter Cheese, chief executive of the CIPD, said:

“Getting more parents back into work can help employers to plug skills shortages, increase employee diversity and broaden their talent pipeline. And on a personal level, can enrich people’s lives. But for this to happen, support and training needs to be offered at both an individual and organisational level. 

“We’re excited to be bringing this project to Yorkshire and the Humber and hope it will make a real difference to the individuals taking part, their families and the regional economy.”   

 Minister for Women, Victoria Atkins, said:

"Parents and carers make huge sacrifices for the ones they love and it is only right that they have the freedom and support to balance work and care effectively.

“It’s great to see the CIPD helping parents back into work in Yorkshire, and I hope we will see more organisations across the UK following their lead.”

Rachel Dackombe, Head of People & Communications at Victoria Plum, one of the employers signed up to be a Returner Champion, said: 

“Victoria Plum have signed up to be part of the CIPD Parent Returner Programme as we believe that parents who have taken time out to raise families have a number of skills that we are looking for as a business, and we want to help these individuals to re discover their careers and enhance their confidence, whilst having the flexibility to balance their family commitments. 

“We believe that through our involvement in the programme it will help us to further drive a flexible and inclusive workforce and have in place the right support mechanisms to help both the individuals and managers who will be supporting them during their time with Victoria Plum.”

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