Kier, a leading property, residential and services group, is partnering with the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) and the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST) to offer a tailored STEM returners programme for the UK engineering and construction sector. The pilot scheme, now taking applications starts in January 2018, and is open to potential recruits looking for a career within the built environment. It will offer successful candidates a structured placement with a full mentoring system.
The Kier returnship programme aims to make the transition back to work a successful, stress-free and long-term one. The scheme is open to professionals from across the country, looking to return to work after a career break (of one year or more.), with experience in the construction and engineering sector or transferable skills from other fields. Those interested have until 2 January to apply.
All successful applicants will undertake a tailored 13 week programme, based on their personal requirements and needs. Each person will receive two coaching sessions by WES, offering support and confidence before returning to the workplace. A mentor will also be assigned by Kier and WES, who will be on hand throughout the programme and beyond to provide support. At the end of 13 weeks, Kier has the opportunity to make ongoing offers of employment.
Currently, 427,000 female professionals, including directors, engineers, scientists, researchers, doctors, lawyers and accountants, are taking career breaks but want to return to the workforce in the future. Sadly, three in five professional women (around 249,000) returning to the workforce are likely to move into lower-skilled or lower-paid roles, experiencing an immediate earnings reduction of up to a third. 29,000 women who return to the workforce on a part-time basis will be underemployed, meaning that they would prefer to work more hours if flexible working opportunities were made more widely available.
Jan Atkinson, talent & organisation development director at Kier said: “We know returning to work after a career break can be extremely daunting. At Kier, we welcome talented people – be it from this industry or elsewhere – and want them to be a part of our dynamic and exciting company.
“We have a wide breadth of opportunities available and we will look at applicants’ transferable skills to see where they would fit best within the company – it is not a one size fits all approach at Kier. Our returnship programme has the support system in place to ensure each applicant is nurtured.”
Kirsten Bodley, CEO of WES, added: “WES is very pleased to be working with IMarEST to support Kier in this pilot STEM Returners programme – a fantastic opportunity for STEM professionals to overcome the barriers and return to, or transfer within, exciting roles and STEM careers. Kier has recognised that for employers challenging the perceived also provides access to a brilliant talent pool to recruit to permanent roles.”
Natalie Desty, director of workforce development at IMarEST, concludes: “This is an exciting time to welcome people in to our industry, nurture their talents and let them discover the vast array of opportunities available.”
For more information on the Returnship programme, visit: www.stemreturners.com/returner-registration.