Nuclear firm agrees deal for STEM professionals returning to work
26 Oct 2022
A Government-owned nuclear defence company is partnering a scheme to enable STEM professionals seeking to return to the workplace.
Non-Departmental Public Body AWE plc, owned by the Ministry of Defence, will provide up to 12 new manufacturing engineering, systems engineering and IT positions specifically for candidates sourced by a company set up to help career returners.
STEM Returners was set up five years ago by businesswoman Natalie Desty (pictured) to overcome the difficulties faced by people who want to re-enter their former employment sector, supporting them with mentoring and career coaching. To date, it has benefitted 310 individuals.
Many firms have traditionally been wary of appointing people who have not been in continuous employment, a situation that has impacted particularly on women taking maternity breaks. However, concern about the demand for STEM workers increasingly outstripping supply has encouraged a more inclusive approach.
Said Desty: “We are delighted to be launching this new returner scheme with AWE to support highly skilled people back into the industry they love. There is a known shortage of skills across STEM industries, and we know that people who have had a career break are faced with an uphill task of getting back into the profession.
“Only by partnering with industry leaders, like AWE, will we make vital changes in STEM recruitment practices, helping those who find it challenging to return to the sector and improve diversity and inclusion.”
Increased emphasis on workplace diversity has also benefited the company, whose present cohort is 46% female and 44% from ethnic minority groups. This compared to 14% female and 9% from ethnic minority groups working in relevant sectors said Desty.
AWE executive director for HR Megan Hunt said: “At AWE we are committed to building an inclusive culture that positively embraces diversity and inclusion, recognising that everyone can make a difference. We are delighted to partner with STEM Returners on this vital scheme helping us to attract and welcome talented individuals back into the workforce.”
The STEM Returners project is co-supported by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology and the Women’s Engineering Society.