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UK – Majority of mums interested in retraining and setting up their own business

24 November 2017

Almost two thirds, or 64%, of mums are interested in retraining and 58% have considered setting up their own business, according to a survey from Workingmums.co.uk.

They survey of over 2,300 mums in the UK shows that many of them are considering leaving their jobs or sector as a result of becoming parents.

While 64% of mums are interested in retraining, 20% said they had retrained in the last 12 months. Moreover, 71% said they would be more likely to retrain if courses were more flexible.

During this week’s Budget 2017, Chancellor Philip Hammond announced a new National Retraining Scheme which will oversee targeted short-term action in sectors with skills shortages, initially focussing on construction and digital skills.

Meanwhile, the biggest reason by far given for considering starting a business or franchise is the need for greater flexibility (36%). Others reasons given were wanting to be their own boss (15%) and that they had always wanted to set up their own business (17%). While 68% of women were just thinking about starting a business, 15% were already in the early stages of setting up and 10% were working on a business plan. Meanwhile, access to funding was seen as the biggest challenge.

The survey also showed that for those mums who had dropped out of the workplace to look after their children, many were finding it difficult to get back to work, particularly in their original sector. Figures showed that 14% had found a job in their field quite easily while 32% could not find a suitable job in their field; 24% had found a job in their field but it was not flexible enough; 24% had found a job in their field, but at a lower level; and 15% had found a job, but not in their field.

“These figures show that women are having to be very creative after they have children in order to keep working and have the flexibility and get the challenge they need,” Gillian Nissim, founder of Workingmums.co.uk, said. “Having children can force a huge rethink in priorities which can lead to considerations around career change, but too often the reason women make these changes is because the culture at their previous workplace does not take into account the challenges they face. It is not that these women do not want to work and most have years of experience and skills. The ironic thing is that in being creative and adaptable they are developing the very skills that employers so need to confront the turbulent and dynamic world of work today.”

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