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Government launches new scheme to help people back into work after career break

2 min read

The Government has today launched a set of programmes to help people returning to the workforce after a career break.

The scheme is part of a £5m package announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond in the Budget to support people re-entering employment.

Research from accounting firm PwC suggests that dealing with the ‘career break penalty’ could produce a £1.7bn boost to the economy.

It would be particularly good news for women, who would stand to see an average salary increase of £4,000 a year, the firm claims.

Many of those seeking to re-enter the workforce are women who have taken maternity leave, along with people who have caring responsibilities.

The move is part of efforts to tackle the gender pay gap, which currently stands at over 18% - however the disparity increases to 25% for women over the age of 40, compared to 7% for women in their 20s.

Ministers are also launching an eight-week call for evidence to get feedback from companies about how to encourage people back into work.

As well as promoting programmes with private companies, the Government is establishing new schemes for civil servants, social work, health professionals and teachers.

Skills Minister Anne Milton, who is in charge of the new scheme, said: “Millions of us need to take time out from our careers, but it can be really hard to return.

"This is bad for the people affected, and the businesses who miss out on their talents. Women in particular find the routes back into employment closed off after taking time out to start a family.

“These returner programmes will make it routine for women to go back to the workplace and get on with their careers.

"It ultimately should also help us to tackle the gender pay gap. I think it’s important that the public sector leads by example and introduces programmes to support people returning to the workplace.”

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