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Lloyds Banking Group – Winner 2018, Government Equalities Office Best Returner Programme Award

Lloyds Banking Group launched a dedicated Returners Programme in 2014 to help bring on board highly skilled and experienced applicants who had taken time out of their careers. The programme attracts hundreds of candidates a year and almost all successful returners go on to permanent positions within the bank. 

Key Points

  • More than 2,600 applicants since 2016. 
  • 85 per cent retention rate after a year.
  • 32 per cent promoted since they joined. 

In 2017, the Group took on 34 people to the 16-week fixed term programme and 31 secured permanent roles as a result. All roles include some form of flexible working. 

While the scheme is gender neutral, 85 per cent of applicants were women in 2017 and the Group hopes the programme will particularly attract women into senior roles.  A key diversity goal for the Group is to achieve women in 40 per cent of senior roles by 2020. 

Candidates are supported throughout the returner programme’s application process via webinars about the Group and thorough information about the application and assessment process. 

The Group also runs mandatory sessions for line managers involved to ensure they understand the extra challenges returners can face, such as not having recent examples to talk about or gaps in their CV.  

When successful returners begin, they attend a two-day induction and then benefit from a host of support and training opportunities including targeted development sessions, coaching and practical upskilling in applications such as PowerPoint and Excel. They are offered ‘buddy’ support from a team member and a former returner. If they are a woman, they are also offered a coach or mentor from the Group’s women’s network. 

More than 2,600 people have applied for the programme since 2016. A total of 240 have been interviewed. The retention rate after a year is 85 per cent and almost a third are promoted into more senior positions. 

The programme is so popular within the Group that plans are underway to increase the number of positions and allow returners to join all year round. 

I had taken a 10-year career break following the birth of my son primarily due to the international travel, long hours and lack of opportunity for agile working. At Lloyds, the 16-week support programme has been invaluable in managing the transition back into professional life. 

Since joining the programme I have been promoted and feel very privileged to return to my career in a stimulating role with a highly competitive salary.” 

Amanda Hunter, Relationship Director in Commercial Banking and 2017 Returner