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A scheme to help up to 100 social workers return to work after a career break has been launched by the government.




It will see employers offering training and support to those who have had time out from the workplace for a range reasons such as starting a family or caring for a relative.

The initiative is part of a government plan to support parents and carers returning to work and close the gender pay gap. It will also help individuals refresh and improve their skills, and build professional networks.

Tailored training


The social work element will see the Government Equalities Office work alongside the Local Government Association and see the LGA build on the Come Back to Social Work pilot to partner three regions across England from November to offer placements to 100 social work returners. The placements will include tailored training and development to prepare social workers for the return to practice.

The returner programmes, part of a £5 million fund announced in this year’s Budget, are also available to teachers, allied health professionals and civil servants.

Help for health professionals


For civil servants, the scheme will see the launch of an initial returner programme for 50 people across the UK this October, while for allied health professionals, the Department for Health will build on the existing nurses scheme and run a returner programme with Health Education England for 300 allied health professional returners including physiotherapists, podiatrists, dietitians, and radiographers. The GEO will also work with the Department for Education to explore a returner programme for teachers.

Getting back into the workplace


The Minister of State for Apprenticeships, Skills and Women Anne Milton 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.

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