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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S6W-03050
Asked by: Tess White, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Date lodged: 16 September 2021


To ask the Scottish Government, further to the proposal in its Programme for Government, how it plans to support 2,000 women to transition back to work following a career gap; how the figure of 2,000 was reached, and over what time period this transition back to work is expected to take place.

Current status: Answered by Richard Lochhead on 1 October 2021


We committed in our 2018-19 Programme for Government to invest up to £5 million over a three year period to support 2,000 women who have had a career break to return to the workplace. This commitment and the scale of ambition built on the learning from our 2017 pilot Women Returners Programme.

An initial Programme commenced in late 2020 which offered immediate support to women during the pandemic. Within the three month period of delivery it attracted twelve projects offering support to over 450 women. This included projects such as HRC Recruitment which provided employability workshops combined with menopause support and mental health fitness coaching to women over 50 years old.

The programme for government published in September 2021 committed to continuing the programme. SDS are delivering the programme this year on behalf of Scottish Government backed with up to £2 million. Bids from prospective providers are currently being assessed. Women will be given support to enable them to apply for jobs or take part in activity such as further training that suits their own personal needs, timescales and circumstances for returning to work.