1st Returnships Conference

On September 17th representatives from companies, the government, including a number of non-profit organisations came together to discuss the challenges and opportunities of implementing returnship programmes. There was broad consensus that such career re-entry programmes are an effective mechanism to re-integrate women and men with long career breaks into the labour market. Some key takeaways include:

  • Effective implementation of return-to-work programmes requires concerted action across various stakeholders:  businesses, government, universities and supporting organisations.
  • There is an increasing body of research on best practice from abroad with regards to implementing such programmes within SMEs, the backbone of the Swiss economy.
  • The government could play a crucial role in terms of gathering information on programmes supporting returners with an aim to avoid duplication of effort.
  • Returners have different backgrounds and needs and these must be taken into account when designing returnship programmes.
  • Recruitment practices need to be adapted.

Our team will be conducting bilateral discussions to follow up on many of the recommendations put forward.