A recruitment programme to help former professionals who have taken a career break return to work has won a national award.

Enfield Council launched its CareerReturners@Enfield programme in February, and was open to people who had taken a break of 18 months or more from work.

At the Personnel Today Awards on Tuesday November 21 at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel the programme topped the Innovation in Recruitment category.

Cllr Dino Lemonides, Enfield Council’s cabinet member for finance and efficiency, said: “We fully appreciate the value and potential of bringing back former professionals to work for the Council.

“This has been a fantastic opportunity to tap into a massive pool of talent and the Council has been able to fill posts in areas where we have traditionally lost out to the private sector.

“Congratulations to everyone involved and of course, we send our best wishes to the six returners who are now back in the workforce.

“We are extremely proud of this initiative and look forward to the next phase of recruitment in the New Year.”

There were close to 100 applications for the six, six-month salaried higher-level internships.

Although open to both genders the successful candidates were all women from diverse backgrounds.

The Council worked in partnership with consultancy coaching and network organisation Women Returners.

Julianne Miles, co-founder and managing director of Women Returners, said: “We were delighted to work with the pioneering team at Enfield Council to develop and support the first ‘returnship’ within local government.

“The success of the programme is clearly demonstrated by the fact that 100 percent of participants have converted into ongoing roles at Enfield Council after the six-month period- a fantastic achievement.”

Enfield Council’s next Career Returner Programme recruitment takes place in 2018.

Managers from other services are keen to emulate the success of the programme and are looking to find returners for their workforce.

Employing returners has improved stability and reduced costs from recruiting agency workers.

The programme beat off competition from Atom Bank, DHL Supply Chain, SAP UK, The AA, Barclays PLC and Lloyds Banking Group.

Information is available at http://new.enfield.gov.uk/services/jobs-and-careers/.

Visit www.womenreturners.com for more information.