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LEAP – for Edinburgh Women

The Making Work Work - LEAP project (Learning, Employability, and Purpose), runs from August 2023 to March 2024 as a partnership between The Challenges Group and their Making Work Work brand and Firstport. Funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and supported by Capital City Partnership and the City of Edinburgh Council, this programme supports experienced women professionals to get back to the workplace after a career break for childcare or other reasons. We provide tailored, skilled pro bono resource to applicable Edinburgh-based social businesses on a project basis for the period Jan – March 2024. 

 

The core component of the programme is an 8–10-week voluntary placement, 16 hours per week, between January and March 2023 within social businesses in Edinburgh. This placement serves the dual purpose of enabling participants to refresh or continue their skills development by contributing pro bono consultancy support to host organisations and provides the host organisation with access to a highly skilled pool of talent on agreed priority areas. Placements are facilitated free of charge to host organisations.

The participants receive six, three-hour training sessions in management, consultancy, and leadership. This training programme is recognised by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI). Host organisations also benefit from six, three-hour training sessions in a CMI-recognised programme, Managing with Purpose. Both groups also receive Flexible Working and Equality, Diversity & Inclusion training sessions. All training participants (women and host organisations) receive a CMI CPD certificate on completion. 

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LEAP Information for

placement participants:

We know that the talented women within our network - such as Making Work Work alumni - bring a wealth of experience and expertise, offering invaluable skills to organisations across all sectors, particularly the third and social enterprise sectors.

Experience and Career Aspirations: Making Work Work alumni are predominantly experienced, professional women moving into managerial roles bringing substantial work experience across a range of industries, which serves as a solid foundation upon which to build on or reengage with their leadership journey.

 

Each LEAP placement will be tailored to match the skills and experience of participants. Women do not need to have come from a social enterprise or third-sector background, we will work with participants to build on their transferable skills when matching them with a host organisation. 

Core Programme Values: At the heart of our programme lies a set of core values that guide our participants towards meaningful career paths. We place a strong emphasis on values-led roles, encouraging our participants to seek positions aligned with their personal values and principles. Moreover, we champion the concept of "Fair Work" within the third sector and social economy, underscoring the importance of ethical and equitable employment practices.

Flexible Work Advocacy: We recognize the significance of flexible working arrangements for women returners and our programme equips participants with the knowledge and tools to navigate the conditions for fair and flexible work. Our training will help empower women to negotiate flexible work arrangements that support both professional aspirations and personal commitments. We also support host organisations to understand the benefits of part-time and flexible work through the placement model and training.

 

Leadership and Empowerment: The LEAP programme is dedicated to empowering our participants with the skills, confidence, and knowledge required to drive positive change in their workplaces and communities. We want to break down the barriers facing career returners by offering skilled placements to avoid talented women taking roles beneath their abilities and aspirations simply because they are part-time or flexible. 

Participant Training Programme:

By participating in LEAP, as well as the experience and confidence you will gain from the placement, you will receive Chartered Management Institute recognised training focusing on consultancy and project management. The training comprises six online sessions, each lasting three hours, covering topics such as consulting placements, client relationships, leadership, and project management. 

You will also have access to the full range of benefits offered by the CMI. In addition you will receive specialised Making Work Work training in flexible work arrangements. We are also able to cover certain expenses for participants including the loan of a laptop, lunch allowance, childcare allowance, and clothing assistance. 

To express your interest in a placement please contact Amy Blake at amy.earnshawblake@thechallengesgroup.com

Training Participants will also enjoy extra CMI benefits such as:

Access to CMI Events (online and in person).

Kooth Membership: Access to Kooth, the UK's premier workplace and wellbeing platform.

CMI Templates: A valuable resource for templates.

Management Diagnostic: Tools to assess and improve management practices.

 

Practical Guides: Over 200 step-by-step guides to address key management challenges.​

Open Now

Our Edinburgh programme, in conjunction with the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and the Capital City Partnership, is open now!

Please contact the team on womenreturners@thechallengesgroup.com if you require any support with your application.

Are you an organisation looking for information about LEAP?

In Partnership With:

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For further information, please contact the team on womenreturners@thechallengesgroup.com

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