Applications are now open for Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s third Returning Talent programme, which aims to help bridge the gap between being a stay-at-home parent or carer and re-entering the workplace. In partnership with the Mumsnet Family Friendly programme and The Executive Coaching Consultancy, the bank is looking to attract women and men from a range of backgrounds including finance, legal and other professional services where their most recent role featured a transferable skill set.

Building on the success of the past two years, the 2014 programme begins with a conference (28 February), which will explore changes in the workplace through speaker sessions and workshops. People who have been out of work for three or more years to care for a family member are invited to apply for one of the 50 available places via the bank’s careers website.

Following the conference, 20 participants will be invited to take part in Returning Talent 2014. This year’s programme consists of two full day workshops (12 and 19 March) supporting a transition back to work and offering practical guidance on CV writing and interview coaching, insights into balancing work and home lives, and access to executive coaching. At the end of the programme, it is anticipated that participants will feel better equipped and confident to re-enter the world of work.

On her involvement in the last year’s Returning Talent programme, a past participant said, “A big thank you to you all for organising this programme. I am now even more motivated and determined than ever to get to where I want to career-wise, and this has definitely helped me to believe that I can do it.”

Lauren Saunders, head of Diversity and Inclusion for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Bank of America Merrill Lynch said, “At Bank of America Merrill Lynch we are committed to attracting, recruiting and developing diverse talent. We recognise that choosing to have a family is a very important stage in one’s life and also that many people decide to take time away from work to focus on caring for their family.

“Through Returning Talent we are giving these people the skills and knowledge necessary for re-entering the workplace. Added to this, we are helping them to recognise the many talents they have acquired during their time at home and so boosting their confidence.”