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Mums retrain to find more meaningful jobs poll shows over a third of working mums have retrained after having children

The survey of nearly 2,000 mums found health and education were the main sectors women were looking to retrain into, with term-time working, helping others and job satisfaction being big advantages in these roles.  However, results showed that a significant number currently working in the education sector were also looking to retrain.

Founder of, Gillian Nissim, said: “We have consistently been struck by the high numbers of mums who are looking to retrain after having children. It is interesting to note the reasons.

“Flexibility is high, but the top reason given is that mums want a more meaningful job. Hence the popularity of sectors such as education and health. They are also seeking career progression and change. Parenthood is a time of great change and triggers a lot of careful reflection. Employers would do well to nurture those employees who are going through similar transition periods.”

Although the top reason given for retraining was changed values (35 per cent), other popular reasons were that respondents were fed up with their job (27 per cent) or looking for a career change (28 per cent).  Long hours, inflexible working in their current job and lack of career progression were also mentioned.

A quarter of respondents said that they sought to retrain once their children had started school.  Other reasons included marital breakdown, redundancy and pregnancy.

Search engines proved to be the most popular method of research for retraining options.  The majority ended up retraining in the classroom (56 per cent) and around a quarter had done online courses. Several had mixed different training options. A third had paid nothing to retrain and some had done their retraining in house, but 60 per cent of those who paid spent over £500.

The survey also found that 81 per cent of those who had not retrained yet were considering it. Most were looking for flexibility (52 per cent), working from home (45 per cent) or higher earnings (39 per cent).

The survey was prompted by findings in’s latest annual survey which showed 65 per cent of respondents were interested in retraining and almost a third had retrained in the last year.

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