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£500,000 awarded to organisations helping to tackle causes of the gender pay gap

Funding to help people who have taken lengthy career breaks to care for others get back into work announced by the Minister for Women, Victoria Atkins.

Five organisations in England have been awarded £489,050 from a new government start-up fund to help people who have taken lengthy career breaks to care for others get back into work, the Minister for Women Victoria Atkins announced today (22 September).

In the UK, nine out of ten potential returners are women. Studies have shown that time out of work and fewer years of full-time work are two of the reasons women struggle to progress at work – contributing towards the gender pay gap.

The five grant recipients from a £1.5 million government start-up fund will support parents and carers back into the workplace through training, refreshing skills and facilitating work placements.

They will also work directly with 79 employers from a range of sectors including law, finance, tech, retail, communications, advertising and marketing.

Minister for Women Victoria Atkins said:

“For too long, taking time out of work to care for others has cut short careers and brilliant, talented women are unable to re-enter industries which will not support them to return. This is a huge loss not only to those individuals, but to our economy and businesses all over the country.

“We are investing in returners to work – giving them the opportunity to refresh and grow their skills and encouraging employers to change their outdated recruitment processes. By taking action on this issue we can grow the economy and achieve true equality in our workplaces.”

McKinsey research found that if women stay in the labour market, work in more productive sectors and work longer hours, there is the potential for £150 billion to be added to the annual GDP in 2025.

This pilot funding will demonstrate to companies that government means business – and inspire them to take their own steps to encourage returners with a vast array of skills back into the jobs market.

The support will help people with caring responsibilities from across the country to return to work – boosting the economy and helping to tackle the gender pay gap.

Launched on 4 March 2018, the government guaranteed £1.5 million to get people with caring responsibilities back into work. £1,010,950 more funding will be awarded this autumn.

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