3 min read

Helping people Return to Work

Since blazing a trail by launching the first Return to Work initiative within professional services in the UK in 2015, our programmes for those re-starting their career after an extended break have gone from strength to strength.

It’s about time

When Mariyam Rawat wanted to return to work part-time after having her daughter in 2012, her ambition wasn’t supported by her employer at the time.

As a result, Mariyam felt that unless she was prepared to work full-time, her career was dead in the water, with no options for a permanent role.

“It just felt like I had to work full time before anyone would trust me; start full-time then, after about three years, it would be okay to ask for a different working pattern. But as far as I was concerned, it would be too late by then.”

It seemed like her only options were to become a contractor, wait until her daughter started school to return to work full time, or continue her education.

Whilst studying for a Master's degree, Mariyam began researching her next career move. She came across information about Return to Work online and attended an insight day at Deloitte to find out more.

Mariyam said “At first I thought: it sounds too good to be true. Four days a week, agile working, flexible to my childcare needs… and you still have an interesting career? But, as I’ve found out, it’s all completely true.”

A career breakthrough

Open to anyone who has taken an extended career break, typically of two years or more, our initiatives give successful applicants the support they need to refresh their skills and boost their confidence with training in areas like IT and personal development.

Now, to make Return to Work even more accessible, we’ve adopted a new supported hiring approach, accepting applications all year round, so that returners can join on a permanent basis at any time, while also getting the support they need.

Building an inclusive culture

Supporting people after a career break recognises the needs of people who are juggling demanding careers with commitments and interests outside of work, and is a critical part of our work to build an inclusive culture. It’s also an important element of our work to develop our female talent pipeline across the firm.

Dimple Agarwal, Deputy CEO for Deloitte UK and Managing Partner for People & Purpose, commented: “Removing barriers to employment and providing support to people who have had time away from work is critical – that’s why we’ve opened up Return to Work opportunities throughout the year.”

A new generation of tech talent

This year, for those who want to do something completely different, we opened applications for our first Return to Work Retraining Programme. Aspiring returners with no experience, training or degree in software development or engineering were invited to apply to join the programme and become part of a new generation of tech talent. Successful applicants will train in coding, software development and more and, after gaining a fully funded professional qualification in partnership with Makers Academy, will have permanent job with us.

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