One in five women have not been able to get a job after taking a career break to have a child, a study has shown.

A survey of more than 2500 mothers also showed a similar number had taken a lower level position when going back to work. Jobs website Workingmums said its research revealed one in two mothers had retrained in the past three years.

Gillian Nissim, founder of, said: "A significant number of women are seeking retraining after having children and there is a big appetite for more flexible courses that fit around family life.

"The survey also shows the challenges facing women after taking a career break."