MBDA UK has teamed up with STEM Returners to champion inclusive employment practices through a brand-new pilot returners programme to welcome back engineers after a career break.
“As an integrated, international business, MBDA is diverse by nature, and we recognise this diversity as one of our key strengths. Our ability to continuously innovate and respond to the needs of our customers depends on the wide range of skills, experience and perspectives our people bring” says Chris Allam, Group Engineering Director and UK Managing Director.
Matt Beaumont, Director of Mechanical Engineering and the sponsor of SPACE2B, MBDA’s gender balance network highlighted “There are so many people who have had a break from their STEM career and who have the valued skills that we are looking for to join our teams. Launching this programme with STEM Returners is part of MBDA’s commitment to inclusive recruitment, and supporting returners so they can apply and build on their skills in a supportive workplace where everyone feels welcome, valued, safe, and able to express themselves in a professional environment.”
MBDA UK is recognised nationally with a place in the Sunday Times 25 Best Big Companies to Work For 2019 and Investors in People Gold Award. They are also a proud member of Working Families – the UK’s work-life balance organisation and would welcome applicants who are looking for flexible working arrangements.
The STEM Returners programme is seen as a vital tool to help plug the skills gap facing UK engineering. In November 2020 the programme was recognised for its progress in changing recruitment methods and attitudes with the prestigious Maritime UK Diversity award after successfully returning nearly 200 engineers back into industries around the UK.
This innovative programme also aims to reduce the gender gap in Engineering, with only 1 in 10 engineering posts in the industry currently held by women. The UK’s Women in Engineering Society estimate up to 20,000 qualified female engineers could potentially fill many job vacancies after career breaks.
The diverse nature of the returner’s talent pool means that the programme can be seen as a valuable tool for tackling under representation of minority groups in the UK’s engineering workforce. The Royal Academy of Engineering recently revealed that while 26% of UK domiciled engineering graduates are Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME), they only make up 6% of full-time engineers. The STEM Returners programme however has seen a third of its successful candidates belonging to ethnic minority groups.
Under the returners programme, STEM professionals are given an opportunity to show their true value to firms through a 12-week, fully paid placement. The programme is open to anybody who has taken a career break, as well as those who wish to change sectors but lack the relevant work experience. The roles on offer with MBDA UK include Software Engineers, Systems Designers, Safety Engineers and Antenna Engineers.
During the first coronavirus lockdown, Hampshire based STEM Returners undertook a study with the help of 350 engineers. The report, entitled ‘STEM: The Hidden Workforce’ found that two-thirds of engineers believe the traditional recruitment process works against them. However, the unique placements offered as part of MBDA’s STEM Returners scheme will use innovative and inclusive recruitment practices, helping source talented candidates that can slip through the net of standard CV screening. The company can now boast over 150 individuals returned to full-time engineering roles.
“There are lots of initiatives to cater for the next generation of STEM workers, but the STEM Returners programme is aimed specifically at those wishing to go back to engineering mid-career” said Natalie Desty, Director of STEM Returners.
“We are delighted to be launching our first programme with MBDA. The launch of their STEM Returners programme shows how seriously the business views diversity and inclusion and how much they value the skills of those returning from career breaks.”
You can view the returner opportunities with MBDA Systems here!