The Returners Programme

The Returners Programme

“When you are in a routine and your life does not make much sense anymore, maybe it is time to look for a job. But where do you start? The Women Returning to Work Programme will give you hope and the help you need to make a positive change in your life. I would say: go for it!” Sylvia 2017

The Women Returning to Work Programme has been running for 20 years and has helped thousands of women return to the workplace. There is not much we don’t know about the issues and concerns of women who want to return to work but are not sure how to get started.  The Programme will support you in your journey back to the workplace.  You will be equipped with the skills and knowledge to help you take that next step with confidence.

 We will help you:

  • Recognise your skills and write a good CV 
  • Understand current selection processes 
  • Understand competence based questioning
  • Devise a strategy for interviews 
  • Find out more about recruitment trends and opportunities

Who is this course for?

Any woman looking to return to work after taking a career break.  A typical course is made up of women from a variety of backgrounds such as law, accountancy, marketing, hospitality, healthcare, administration but all sharing the same goal – to return to work! 

How long does it last?

The Women Returning to Work Programme involves 8 morning sessions (9.30-1.00) over a 4-week period with follow on coaching on your job search and your interview technique. The course is designed to fit around childcare commitments for those who need this. 

Is there homework/self-study?

The course is quite busy, and participants are expected to spend time between sessions practising the skills shared and reflecting on areas covered in the morning sessions.  The aim is that women will finish the course recognising the value of their knowledge, skills and experience and with a new-found confidence about what they can offer prospective employers.  

How many places are on each course?

We like to keep each course small so places are limited to 10.  This means that we can tailor the course and ensure that we provide a supportive, friendly atmosphere where women can feel comfortable about discussing issues regarding returning to work.  

How much does it cost?

Skills Development Scotland fully support this programme for eligible women who live in Edinburgh. We will be able to tell you if you qualify for full funding. If you do not qualify for funding you can still join the course. Please ask us about this.

When does it run?

Approximately 5 times a year.

Here are some of comments from our most recent participants: 

“After 15 years as a stay at home mum this course was exactly what I needed to drag me out of my comfort zone and give me the belief that I was still employable” Louise 2017

“Informal relaxed by the coffee break on the first morning of the course, any pre-course anxiety had gone and I realised how lucky I was to be a participant on the WRW programme” Sharon 2017

“A good reminder that I do have skills and I am still employable. Lots of great advice about applications and the selection process” Lesley 2017

“The perfect course if you haven’t worked for a while. I completely reworked my CV (and my son’s) and am no longer terrified to go for interviews (even my son has secured his first job!)” Susan 2017

What happens if I finish the course but feel I need more help?

We have a follow-on service which is designed to offer individual coaching for interview. This is available for you to access at the point of actively seeking work and is intended to unsure you are prepared for the selection process. We will help you match your CV and application to the vacancy and then prepare you for your upcoming interview.


If you would like an informal chat to learn about the course, call us on 0131 622 6240 or email us at

We look forward to helping you on your journey back to work. 

“We believe that after attending your very personal, absolutely, invaluable and simply amazing training course, we rediscovered knowledge, developed skills and gained the necessary experience.  As a result, we became empowered and can stand any challenge throughout the work-searching quest” Ginny, Natasha, Piera and Tanya 2016

You can view some Success Stories here.