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Bank of America Merrill Lynch has opened applications for its tenth UK Returning Talent programme for those with a background in financial services.
Individuals who have been out of work for 12 months or longer – for example, stay-at-home parents or carers, or someone who has chosen to take a career break – are invited to apply via the company’s Careers site. The application closing date is 15 December 2018. The conference and workshops will take place in February 2019.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch, in partnership with the Executive Coaching Consultancy, says it is looking for people with experience in a range of financial services jobs including banking operations, technology, finance, project and change management, compliance, audit, HR, sales and trading and advisory.
As in past years, the 2019 programme begins with a one-day conference for 50 participants, giving them a chance to get up to date on developments in the sector and hear about returning to work after a career break. There will be speaker sessions, panel events and workshops as well as an introduction to Bank of America Merrill Lynch as a potential employer.
Half of the attendees will be chosen to attend two full-day workshops designed to support a transition back to work; offer practical guidance on focusing and managing a career search; provide interview skills sessions and insights into balancing work and home lives; and give access to executive coaching. There will also be opportunities for participants to start expanding their professional connections through a series of networking sessions with bank employees.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch says its programme differs from its competitors because, rather than a “returnship” model, it emphasises providing participants with the toolkit they need to rejoin their careers within any organisation, including Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The company says it plans to source suitable candidates from the programme to fill several London-based positions, but jobs are not guaranteed.
“Our award-winning programme is helping men and women recognise that their situation is not unusual and that choosing to take a career break does not suddenly render them ‘unskilled’ or ‘unambitious’”, said Neeha Khurana, international talent executive at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “During a time away from the workplace, people acquire new talents and a fresh perspective – both of which are attractive to a prospective employer and increasingly sought-after qualities in today’s market. Returning Talent has been supporting and integrating talent back into the workplace since 2012, and we are immensely proud of the hundreds of participants we have met and helped to refocus their search, update their knowledge, and continue their careers.”
Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s programme is one of the first returner programmes in the UK for experienced professionals. Since it started, the programme has expanded with sessions now running in Chester and Dublin. More than 450 people have taken part, with many going on to secure roles at Bank of America Merrill Lynch or at other firms. The company won the 2015 Working Mums Top Employer Award for Career Progression in large part due to its pioneering work on returner initiatives.