Ensuring the talent pool is full

20th November 2017
Posted By : Joe Bush
Ensuring the talent pool is full

Designed to help the thousands of STEM candidates who want to return to engineering after a career break, the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) has launched the new ‘STEM Returners Programme’. The STEM Returners will help people who fear that their skills are out of date, to return to their former careers, as well as re-train STEM candidates from other industries.


Two of the biggest challenges facing STEM are the widening skills gap, and the lack of positive progress in diversity. Considering these challenges, WES, in partnership with The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST), claim the STEM Returners Programme will positively affect both issues.

In addition, the programme will also serve as a transfer of learning programme, to allow employers to attract and re-train engineers from other industries. This is an industry wide programme and will look to attract diverse candidates from all areas of technical STEM, as well as business roles such as project management, procurement and leadership.

How will it work?
The programme is a structured, paid 13-week employment placement for professionals returning to work after a career break, or looking to transfer between sectors. Alongside the experience gained from the work placement, the programme will provide additional support for the returner, such as training, career mentoring, networking opportunities and peer support. At the end of the programme, at the agreement of the employer and the returner, there will also be the option for ongoing employment. This is a genuine opportunity to restart careers.

Closing the CV gap
STEM Returners is designed to attract and enable diverse candidates to apply - those candidates who are currently completely lost to traditional recruitment methods. A CV gap is often an insurmountable barrier to recruitment, often viewed as a major technical skills and knowledge gap by both employers and returners. It can also lead to would-be returners losing confidence in finding a way back to work. That means a huge amount of talent and investment in people is wasted. The programme will allow companies to build a more flexible and responsive workforce to both employee and client’s needs.

The STEM Returners Programme is open to all candidates with a STEM background, who have taken a career break and are looking to restart their career, through a supported return to work scheme. It will also support those candidates who are interested in transferring to a different sector, but lack the relevant experience to apply through traditional recruitment channels.

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