‘We believe that everyone deserves a chance to pursue their passion and reach their full potential,’ says manging director of people experience

Five insurance firms have teamed up with Career Returners and The Insurance Families Network (IFN) to deliver a new programme for individuals looking to return to work following a break.

The programme offers a six-month paid placement with participating employers for professionals that have had an extended career break of at least 18 months.

Individuals may have taken time out for several reasons, such as caring for children and elderly or sick relatives, for relocation purposes or personal health issues.

Employers participating in the programme include Markel, Ageas, Fidelis MGU, First Central and Howden.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for individuals that have been out of the corporate world for a long period and who are now ready to return to professional level work in a supportive way,” Career Returners deputy chief executive, Hazel Little, said.

“The Insurance Cross-Company Returner Programme will build a bridge between talented candidates and great employers though upskilling, Career Returners coaching, mentoring and a supportive peer group community.”

Working options

The programme will begin on 7 May 2024 following a launch event on 30 January.

Candidates will be provided with internal mentoring and coaching from Career Returners to help transition back into the workplace.

Examples of business areas that participants can get involved in include underwriting, claims, legal, finance and technology.

Flexible working options may also be available during and after the programme, depending on the firm offering the opportunity and role.

Participants enrolled on the programme can also potentially secure a permanent position following completion.

Markel International managing director of people experience Joanna Browning said that “at Markel, we believe that everyone deserves a chance to pursue their passion and reach their full potential”. 

“That’s why we’re proud to partner with Career Returners, a programme that helps individuals who have taken a career break to re-enter the workforce with confidence and support.

“We’re a people-first business and are committed to creating a culture where everyone can thrive,” she added.

Application process

Career Returners is a consulting, coaching and network organisation that was founded in 2014 as Women Returners.

The business changed its name this year to “reflect the evolution of our activities to support returners of all genders”.

The IFN, meanwhile, is a volunteer-run organisation that was set up in 2018. It works to “empower parents and carers to have a better working life” by focusing on five key pillars – neurodiversity, fertility, domestic abuse, carers and generation needs and working dads.

To help individuals prepare for the application process, two workshops will take place after the launch event.

How to create a compelling CV will take place on 1 February and a workshop on interview preparation will take place on 29 February.

“We at the IFN are delighted to be partnering with Careers Returners to launch this dedicated insurance programme for returners,” IFN sponsorship lead and programme co-creator Cristina Galindo said.

“I’m really looking forward to working the applicants across all the milestones of the programme and encourage anyone considering applying to get in touch and ask others across the industry to promote this opportunity far and wide.”