Candidates are then invited to attend networking sessions and interviews with the companies most interested in them. If successful candidates will be put forward for paid returnship opportunities, typically lasting four to six months. This will aim to refresh their skills, experience and networks and will have a strong likelihood of permanent employment at DWF the end of the programme.
While initiatives of this nature have typically been aimed at women returning to the workplace after taking time out to raise children, the Back in Business programme is open to professionals of any gender, at any stage of their career.
Morna Ronnie, HRC Recruitment’s Head of Programmes said: "From prior experience, I know that Scotland has a pool of talented and experienced professionals looking to get back into work after taking time out from their careers. It’s an exciting time as we kick-start the initiative with DWF, giving our first group of legal returners the skills and confidence ahead of starting a new job.”
Ragene Raithatha, Senior Associate at DWF, struggled to re-enter the profession five years ago following a ten-year break, with most firms saying she had been out of practice for too long.
She explained: "The traditional law firm set up typically does not allow for returners like me, but at DWF we do things differently. Five years ago, I would have relished this type of support while looking to return to the legal sector.
"This programme will offer returners the opportunity to experience office life again, build their confidence and enable them to make an informed decision. After many knock backs, which almost destroyed my confidence, I finally found the support and encouragement I needed from DWF. Now, I am a senior associate and responsible for a wider team. DWF has recognised the skills, both legal and personal, that I can offer in building a team, and I am really pleased the business is supporting this programme to give others this opportunity."
Florence Van Schependom-Brown, Resourcing and Talent Acquisition Manager at DWF, said: "In today’s employment market, careers don’t always follow the traditional path, which is why we are proud to be involved with Back in Business, and to be working with HRC Recruitment to deliver this programme in a bid to attract law returners like Ragene. We believe it will allow us to gain access to a strong pool of talent for the benefit of our business and clients."