The rise of the ‘returnship’

With the recent coverage of returnships, City Calling identifies the industries leading the way.

A returnship offer a chance for individuals who have taken an extended career break to get back into their profession. The scheme originated at Goldman Sachs in the US, but more recently a number of UK companies have started introducing the scheme.

Their aim is to recognise and help support women (and men) to get back to their senior roles despite their large ‘cv gap’, which can sometimes be an immense hurdle.

With recent research revealing that 83 per cent of working mothers would choose not to give up their job to be a full time mum is an even greater indicated that these returnship schemes are not only beneficial but essential in the workforce.

UK Job site City Calling has identified the industries that are leading the way in returnship in the UK.


Banking was the first industry to introduce returnship back in 2014 by investments banks such as Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche banks. For example, RBS run a ‘Come Back’ scheme, a 12-16-month placement places professionals within RBS providing experience, coaching and networking opportunities.


According to the Department of Education more than 10,000 former teachers return to the profession each year. Another great aspect with teaching is that there is no age limit of suitability-qualified candidates who wish to return to the classroom.


Inspired by the banking sector, Starcom MediaVest launched the ‘Back to the Business Ship’. An 8-day programme for those who have been out of the industry for over five years aiming to provide both training and confidence building.

Mobile Technology

Mobile phone companies are increasingly growing with ‘returnship’ schemes. Both Vodafone and 02 offer routes for professional to gain experience. The Vodafone ReConnect Programme is a global six-month target programme in a number of areas across the business such as HR, Technology, Analytics and Legal.


Engineering sees a massive gender imbalance when it comes to the workforce. The introduction of such schemes in this sector will help attracted more women back to work. The Institution of Civil Engineers has partnered with a number of engineering companies to offer such placements to guide individuals back into their career.


For the public sector, the NHS provides ‘Return To Practice’ courses for nurses wishing to re-join. These often take place at universities across England.

Financial Services

An example includes PWC, a leading professional services firm in the UK. In 2015, PWC launched ‘Back to Business’, a 12-week programme that aims to provide ‘a sustainable pool of talent at an experienced level’. Offering individuals the opportunity to work client facing and explore a range of different carers within the business.

Further reading on returnship

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

Related Topics

Leave a comment