BofAML launches inaugural returners programme in Chester

Bank of America Merrill Lynch has launched its first Returning Talent programme in Chester and is seeking applications from people who have taken a career break.

The programme aims to help people prepare for re-entering the workforce – a former stay-at-home parent or carer, or someone who chose to take a career gap to support a partner serving within the Armed Forces, for example. People who have been out of work for a year or more are invited to apply via the company’s careers site. The application closing date is 15 August.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch, in partnership with the Executive Coaching Consultancy, who run return-to-work programmes, is looking to attract individuals from a range of backgrounds including finance, technology, banking operations and other professional services.

The Chester initiative builds on the Bank’s London programme which has been running for several years. The 2016 Chester programme will give 25 participants the opportunity to attend a two-day conference  on 27 and 28 September aimed at exploring the changing workplace and the role of the returner in it.

Participants will hear from guest speakers and participate in a series of 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 access to executive coaching. There will also be opportunities for participants to start building their professional connections through a series of networking opportunities with bank employees.

Steve Miller, head of Chester site, global head of FX Operations and Returning Talent Chester executive sponsor at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said: “I am very excited to see the expansion of the Returning Talent programme to Chester. This builds on its great success in London and is a fantastic opportunity for anyone looking to re-enter the workplace. We know there is enormous untapped talent in the returner population, and we think this matches very well with the expanding opportunities at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Chester.”

Five years ago, Bank of America Merrill Lynch pioneered one of the first returner programmes for experienced professionals – mainly women. The company’s progress in this area, as well as its ongoing commitment to develop its female talent, won it the 2015’s Top Employer Award for Career Progression. The company has an established alumni network of past Returning Talent participants, allowing them to keep in touch, network and share experiences and knowledge.

Daniel South, Diversity and Inclusion manager for EMEA at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said: “To date, nearly 200 people have taken part in our Returning Talent programme, a large proportion of whom have gone on to get jobs here at the bank, as well as at other companies. But perhaps of more significance is how much the initiative has built participants’ confidence and enabled them to make those first steps back into the world of work. We hope to replicate this success in Chester.”

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