Unique returners programme enters second year

An innovative programme aimed at helping people who have taken time out of the workplace to bring up a family is running for a second year.

Carers and parents are invited to apply for a place on Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s ‘Returning Talent’ programme which aims to help bridge the gap between being a stay-at-home parent or carer and re-entering the world of work.

The bank is looking to attract applicants from a range of professional backgrounds including finance, legal and professional services.

Applicants from all industries are welcome if their most recent role featured a transferable skill set, e.g., project management.

Last year’s inaugural programme had over 100 applicants. The programme, which takes place over three days, offers practical guidance on CV writing and interview coaching, and features real-life experience from bank executives who themselves need to balance their work and home lives.

At the end of the programme, it is anticipated that participants will feel better equipped and confident to re-enter the world of work. Last year, 21 women participated and over 50 per cent returned to the workplace following their participation in the programme.

Applications for ‘Returning Talent’ close on 22 February and the workshops will take place on 11, 14 and 21 March at the bank’s Canary Wharf offices.

Michelle Fullerton, head of Diversity and Inclusion for Europe and Emerging Markets (ex-Asia) at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, who is spearheading the initiative, said, “Parents and carers offer a vast pool of untapped talent.

However, many feel they lack the necessary skills and knowledge required to re-enter the workplace after time away to care for family – additionally, they fail to recognise the talents they have acquired during their time at home.”

“Through ‘Returning Talent’ we aim to help women and men who have been absent from the workplace for three or more years feel better prepared and confident to return to their career.”

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