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Help to Support Mums get back into Employment

26th January 2022

Up to 30 North Somerset women who have struggled to find a job after having children can get free help to return to the workplace thanks to the launch of a new project.

The Women’s Work Lab is a community interest company which supports women in the South West back into work after extended career breaks and to kickstart careers. It is open to women who are out of work and in receipt of Universal Credit.

The Women’s Work Lab would like to hear from North Somerset businesses interested in hosting a mum on placement. This would involve providing experience of an entry-level role for 15 hours a week, during school hours, for four weeks in May. Typically, the shift pattern would be Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday between 9.30am and 2.30pm.  Often employers offer rotating placements so mums can find out about different career opportunities within their organisation.

The programme will run twice in North Somerset – firstly in Weston-super-Mare from March and then it will be repeated in Clevedon from September.

The 12-week programme combines face to face expert training with a formal work placement at a respected local employer. A mentor will provide ongoing support for six months after the programme has ended. All training and work placements take place in term-time and only during school hours.

Businesses interested in getting involved that would like to discuss potential placements should visit or contact Paige Josham by calling 07464 015762 or emailing

The Women’s Work Lab is the first training programme of its kind in the UK. It helps to build women’s confidence through teaching new skills and providing a supportive peer group.

Rachel Mostyn, co-founder of Women’s Work Lab, said: “We are looking for unemployed women who are receiving benefits. We don’t mind why this is but we want to help them find their own path back into employment. What’s important to us is not what they’ve been doing up until now, but the fact that they are ambitious to make a change and have a willingness to learn. We can help women explore career options, supported by coaching and invaluable peer support from other women with the same kinds of experiences and ambitions. The programme is free of charge and travel expenses may be covered.

Following the success of the programme in Bristol and Bath, the scheme is being supported by North Somerset Council thanks to Flexible Support Funding through the Department of Work and Pensions.

Councillor Catherine Gibbons, North Somerset Council’s executive member responsible for lifelong learning, said: “This is a worthwhile initiative helping break down barriers women may be experiencing in returning to the workplace after having children. I look forward to seeing the women of North Somerset benefitting when it gets under way in our area.

I encourage eligible women to apply. I also hope to see many businesses register to provide work experience opportunities.

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