Vodafone launches recruitment programme specifically for those on a career break

Rebecca Smith
Vodafone hopes the programme will hope boost its number of female senior managers
Vodafone hopes the programme will help boost its number of female senior managers (Source: Getty)

Vodafone has unveiled a new programme specifically recruiting those who have taken a career break.

The telecoms giant is on the hunt for 1,000 new hires across the world in the next three years. Half of these will be in frontline roles such as shops and call centres, and the other half in managerial positions.

Read more: "Returnships" will boost women in work, says cross-party MPs group

Its ReConnect programme is a global paid six-month transition programme, which it says will help those looking "to reconnect with the corporate world" and their career aspirations after a break from a job.

There will be a focus on the capital and Newbury, though Vodafone said there will also be opportunities around Europe, including in Greece, Germany, the Czech Republic and Ireland.

Its programme is being launched ahead of International Women's Day on 8 March and isn't restricted to former Vodafone staff. It is open to men as well as women, though the group expects many applicants to be women who have taken a break to have children.

For the 2015/16 financial year, 24 per cent of senior management at Vodafone were women and it has committed to making its workforce more balanced, moving to ensure women hold at least 30 per cent of senior roles by 2020.

If the ReConnect programme works as anticipated, its candidates will make up 10 per cent of all Vodafone's external management hires over the period.

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It comes after a cross-party group of MPs in January recommended big firms bringing in paid returner programmes to help women continue their careers after a break, off the back of a year-long inquiry into women returners.

Co-chair of the Women and Work all-parliamentary group, Conservative MP Flick Drummond, said: "If we want to be a happier and more successful county, we must appreciate that some people take time out of the workplace for either caring responsibilities or to pursue other interests.

"But it is unacceptable that taking often unavoidable time out usually means forfeiting future earnings and economic success. For example, on average, women earn more than men in their twenties, but when they turn 30 men begin to significantly outstrip their female counterparts."

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