Cherie Blair, the wife of former Prime Minister Tony Blair, is leading a call for stay-at-home-mums to be helped back into work with an apprenticeship-type scheme.
Blair, writing in an essay for a family charity, pitched the idea of ‘returnerships’, which would be “like an apprenticeship but for those who have been out of the labour market due to caring responsibilities.”
As reported in Business Matter Magazine, recent research revealed that more than a quarter of mothers feel discriminated against at work while pregnant or when returning to work after maternity leave.
Over 47,000 women who take maternity leave each year find their jobs under threat when they return, with some forced into positions with less responsibility.
Blair also suggested employers should create more part-time, family friendly jobs to tempt women back to work.
She said “Many of the big decisions over progression, promotion and future career trajectory are taken when people are in their late twenties and thirties, putting women at a huge disadvantage because this is the very time they are most likely to be having a break to have children.”
Speaking about the proposed ‘returnerships’, she said “At a time when boosting economic growth is at the top of every politician’s ‘to do’ list, this would be a good place to start.”