The 2019 programme – delivered by f1 Recruitment

The 2019 Back2businessship Marketing Communications Returners Programme

Back2businessship, is in its 5th year and took place at Oracle in Reading.  The programme was exclusively for career returners who have over a decade of experience in marketing, media and communications and over 3 years out of the workplace raising a family or have had other caring responsibilities.

It was match funded by the Government Equalities Office Returners Fund as one of only 5 programmes supported in their first round of funding for 2018/19. 

The 2019 programme focussed on the Technology, Telco, Fintech and Financial Services sector.

Alok Sharma, Minister of State for Employment opened Back2businessship this year. He discussed the challenges of full employment, finding talent, flexible working, women returners and the challenges of getting back onto the career ladder. 

The intensive 6 Day Re-orientation back-to-work programme included modules on Career Planning, Presentation skills, Changes and progress in the World of Work you left behind including digital, social media & creative, data analytics, the myths & reality of AI in Marketing, how to attack the jobs market & apply for roles and how to manage your first 90 days back in the workplace. There was a range of coaching and training sessions led by industry professionals as well as case studies and presentations by inspirational women who have returned to the workplace successfully after a career break raising a family. The final day of the Boot Camp featured our popular ‘speed dating’ session where our 2019 Company Ambassadors & local businesses (corporates and SME’s) met the all delegates as part of a face to face informal selection process for paid fixed term contracts. 

The 6 day Re-orientation back-to-work programme will ran at Oracles offices* in Reading for 6 days over 2 weeks.


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Many delegates from Back2businessship over the last 4 years are now back working in either permanent career roles, are contracting or have decided to set up their own small consultancies. All have moved their careers forward since the programme. Please see and click on the Returners tab to read blogs and insights from delegates.

Behind  the Scenes

 You can read a little more about the people and stories behind the back2businesship initiative below, including case studies of some of our returners. Many of our returners have gone back full-time, others required more flexibility. We also highlight the companies who are working to support the agile working revolution.

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Read more about our returner, Vivien Kelly’s success story at the Government Equalities Office Returners Team

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Back2Businessship co-founder Amanda Fone, BBC World News coverage of last year’s Back2businessship programme. Podcast


Returners – are you making the most of them? – Here are the companies represented at the Back2businessship speed-dating 2017 programme. For information email

speed dating2

At last year’s Back2businessship, we asked the delegates to write short blogs. From day six (Interview Skills, Elevator Pitch and Speed Dating), we hear from Ariane Vayid d’Incau and Lak Siriwardene, two of this year’s delegates


From Day 5 of last year’s programme, Getting Back to Work, we hard from two of the delegates, Valerie Rushton and Deborah Mearns.


From Day 4 of last year’s programme, Building Confidence – we heard from delegates Alison Levitt and Judith Meagher about their experiences on the day.


Back2businessship Programme 2017, Day Three – 10 Insights From Inspiring Women Successfully Balancing Work And Family. Read 2017 delegates Annie Hastie and Laure Legrange’s take on the day.


Day 2 of last year’s programme was all about ‘What the world of work has missed out one we left it behind!. Hear what two of our delegates, Philippa Hamilton and Yossi Curtis learned from the day.


We kicked off Day 1 of the 2017 Programme with thoughts from Viveka Alvestrand and Sarah Varney on ‘Pinpointing potential through personality tests and plasticine parrots!

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Bell Pottinger’s Emily Luscombe as part of our series of blogs on the ‘Agile Work Revolution’

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Here are some of Mark’s thoughts and experiences on the importance of the growth of ‘agile working options’.

Emily Cox VirginMoney

Emily Cox of Virgin Money as part of our series of blogs on the ‘Agile Work Revolution’


Find out which companies are ahead of the curve when it comes to addressing the career break penalty for female professionals


Demand for flexible working is on the rise but flexible job adverts are few and far between. Katie Jacobs, Editor at HR Magazine, looks at the need for employers to address the growing need for flexible hiring options.

John Reid

“Flexible Working” -  What does it actually mean? Guest blogger, John Read, Founder-Director of ReadDillon Ltd and Executive Director of Clean Up Britain CIC takes a look at perceptions around Flexible Working.


Maeve Hosea, an independent journalist who has written for Marketing week, New York Times and the Guardian, looks at how a number of progressive companies embrace agile working practices.


I have spent the last five years undertaking the most challenging role of my life to date. The pay is lousy, the hours are long and the clients are stroppy. Still motherhood has many rewards and after five years as a full-time mother I am ready to return to my career in corporate communications. The question is how do I do this and retain enough of a balance to still fulfil my childcare commitments?


Louise Winmill of as part of our series of blogs on the ‘Agile Work Revolution’. “On this exact day, one year ago, I was unemployed.
With a ten month old baby and a mortgage on a new house to pay, resigning from my then job, in many respects, seemed like an utterly stupid thing to do. Only it wasn’t. Looking back a year on, it was, in fact, one of my better decisions that has not only moved on my career but enabled me to find a job I love with a company that respects my wish to spend time bringing up my young daughter.”