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16,000 women could be attracted back to work with right support

218,000 women between the ages of 20 and 64 are currently not participating in the workforce.

A new study shows that 16,000 of those could be attracted back to work with the right support.

The untapped potential of women who are currently out of the workforce is being highlighted in a new report launched today by the Further Education and Training Authority Solas and Dress for Success, a charity that supports women to achieve economic independence.

The study shows that 218,000 women in Ireland are deemed to be on ‘home duties’ with a potential for 16,000 of them to join the workforce.

Nikki Gallagher from Solas says women at home are gaining new skills every day.

"They're essentially the CEOs of their own companies," said Ms Gallagher.

"They have budgetary skills, they have event management, they have time management skills.

"So I think there's a real opportunity to talk about their skills on their CVs and not just simply look at their employment history."

Out of the women at home, 57,000 of them have third level qualifications. Almost half of those have children aged 5 or under, while 75% have a partner in full-time employment.

70-year-old Patricia Stafford went back to college when she was 65 and now manages a website for her daughter who’s a food blogger.

"I was very unhappy about what I was seeing and [what was being] delivered by the person she had employed to do her customer relationship management. And I thought I could do better than this," said Ms Stafford.

"So then I thought I better learn how to do this."

Solas says support needs to be in place to attract women back to work including flexible working models, further education and training, apprenticeships and returner programmes.