Most employers are not aware of "returnship" schemes aimed at giving a route back to work for people who have taken a break in their career, such as mothers, a report shows.
Research by totaljobs found that most employers would offer a return to work programme if there was a Government scheme to help finance it, similar to the apprenticeship levy.
The jobs site said its study of 2,600 jobseekers and 100 employers revealed a lack of awareness of schemes to help mothers or the long-term unemployed, go back to work.
Totaljobs' HR director, David Clift, said: "Returnships are an excellent way of welcoming employees back into the workforce, utilising their skills and making sure talent isn't lost permanently.
"While returnships could be one of the ways of closing the skills gap the UK is facing at the moment, there is much work to be done in educating employers and recruiters on the benefits of such programmes."
A Government spokesman said: "We are doing more to help people return to work after time out for caring, with £5 million to support returner programmes to make it easier for people to get on with their careers.
"We are developing best practice guidelines for employers on how to run returner programmes and expand opportunities for returners - to encourage more businesses to take them up.
"This should also help us tackle the gender pay gap, since women in particular find the routes back into employment closed off after taking time out to start a family."