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Employers are missing out on a talent pool of parents

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British employers are missing out on a talent pool of working parents as they are leaving employment due to lack of flexible hours and the cost of childcare, new research reveals.

A report from Family Friendly Working shows parents who are leaving employment are continuing to develop their skills  both with the family, by retraining, and in their own businesses.

The top talents developed by parents are multitasking (68.4%) and time management (65.3%). But more than half (55.3%) of the parents who responded to the survey have developed promotion and marketing skills and almost as many (45.3%) have developed better communication skills.  A similar number (37.6%) have improved project planning skills since quitting employment.

Parents' people skills are getting a great workout too. Three in 10 (30.7%) parents claim to have developed better conflict management skills, and one in five (20%) have better team management skills since leaving employment.

Director of Family Friendly Working Antonia Chitty says, "I know that I've developed my skills since I left employment and it looks like I'm not alone. Britain's' bosses need to think hard about offering more flexible work opportunities in order to make the most of talented parents."

But the news comes as a controversial new outdoor advertising campaign with the slogan "career women make bad mothers" has been launched  across buses, 11,500 billboards and poster sites nationwide.

The advertisements have been designed as part of a £1.25m campaign to promote the power of outdoor advertising. But the scheme has not gone down well on online discussion board mumsnet.com, where one blogger wrote: "No doubt the idiot who thought this catchy campaign up  will even as I type be wetting his pants in glee that someone has posted about it on Mumsnet. But does he really think the mass of the population will suddenly be moved to ruminate on the utility of outdoors advertising when they see the ad ... or will they just think 'ha! career women are bad mothers, I always thought so - it says so on that bus!'."