Orkney Housing Association
Quality Affordable Homes for Orkney


New service offering free support for women returning to work.

News image

Women Returners Programme is an employability programme for women, aged 25 and over, who have been out of the labour market for six months or more and want to restart their career journey.

The Review: Refresh: Return programme offers tailor-made services for women aged 25 and over who have been unemployed for six months or more. Support is provided in one-to-one or group sessions, online and in person, helping women to determine their next step back to employment and taking it.

Support is provided by specialist advisors from Triage; a Scottish-based employment and skills organisation operating across the country. Services are free to participants, fully-funded by Skills Development Scotland as part of its country-wide Women Returners Programme.

Emphasis is placed on navigating caring responsibilities and back-to-work anxiety, while facilitating women to return to responsible, good work, or move further towards it.

Activities include reviewing skills and work experience; refreshing CVs, interview technique, industry and IT knowledge; and exploring opportunities to return to work or access further education.

Sarah Sanderson, Triage Operations Director said: “Many women find themselves in a position of compromise when it comes to returning to the workplace. The Women Returners programme addresses that gender inequality, by breaking down barriers to women returning to career positions, or exploring new avenues.

“Our programme helps identify what the ultimate ambition is, be it large or small, and builds the skills and confidence to reach it. There are no prescribed activities, no push toward a particular outcome. Review: Refresh: Return helps women think afresh about their work aspirations and gives practical support to achieve it.”

The service works with women at all different stages of their working lives. Triage is particularly interested in contact from women with disabilities or health conditions; from minority backgrounds; aged over 50; lone parents; from veteran families; those experiencing conflict at home; and women living in rural areas struggling to access employment.

Related link: Link to programme details