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Image caption The programme will give 40 experienced women the chance to build on their skills

Women returning to the finance sector after a career break are being urged to apply for a new scheme to help them brush up on their skills.

The so-called “returnships” will give 40 experienced women the chance to build their confidence for skilled jobs.

Employers including Prudential and TSB are among those to back the scheme.

Those taking part will be offered three-month paid placements, with the possibility of ongoing employment.

The Scottish government has agreed £48,500 of funding to Women Returners Ltd for the Returners to Financial Services Scotland Programme.

Positions will be secured and advertised by the end of October with placements due to start in Glasgow and Edinburgh in early 2018.

‘Very intimidating’

Hazel Little, coaching and programme manager at Women Returners, said well qualified, highly skilled women could struggle to find the right opportunities after a career break.

She added: “The talent pool is largely untapped in Scotland and organisations are missing out on a great source of experienced, qualified and diverse candidates.

“We believe that the success of the programme will demonstrate the business benefit of hiring returners to financial services organisations throughout Scotland.”

Ms Little said that the woman involved in the scheme would make a positive contribution to the organisations taking part.

She added: “Following an extended career break, it can be very intimidating trying to get back into work.

“Many women who are highly skilled, well qualified and with considerable business experience struggle to find the right opportunities.

“Returnships give women the opportunity to make a positive contribution to an organisation while updating their skills and being supported with coaching and mentoring.”

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