Working in the marine industry since 2007, Ant Vanson was an experienced contract CAD Design engineer. Unfortunately, Ant faced many of the same problems that candidates with non-standard CV’s come across when job hunting in STEM. Making the transition from contract to permanent work is a common barrier to returning. Despite extensive experience working for prestige boat and yacht design projects, Ant still struggled to re-enter the engineering industry.
“My contracting career came to end in 2019 due to there not being enough work. I faced many barriers when applying for permanent roles, due to moving around so much.”
“I relentlessly applied for roles and found that I didn’t ever have the chance to get an interview – this was very frustrating as I knew I could do the work!”
Fortunately, Ant discovered the STEM Returners Programme online at the start of 2020. However, due to his previous experiences of rejection through standard CV screening, his application was more out of hope than expectation.
“I saw an advert online around January 2020 looking for STEM Returners to join BAE Systems as Construction Design Engineers – so I applied, without knowing anything would happen.”
“I was approached by Natalie and secured an interview in February!”
“The interview went very well, and I was given the option of choosing between two different areas of the business at BAE Systems.”
“I chose ‘Design Maritime Services’ due to my knowledge of CAD software and my experience of having worked in the Marine Industry for the past ten years.”
After a positive interview and a feeling this time that things were different, Ant discovered that his route back into engineering was open, although he now had to deal with the problem of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I was contacted by Natalie from STEM Returners in early March to inform me that I had been successful in my application. By this time the pandemic was in full and therefore everything was put on hold for months.”
As a full-time father during the pandemic, taking care of his son whilst his wife worked on the frontlines in healthcare, Ant could have been forgiven for thinking he had picked the worst time to return to engineering. However, the STEM Returners Programme provides bespoke placements, and special arrangements were made to keep Ant’s choices open.
“I was contacted by a representative who managed the STEM Returners Programme at BAE Systems and they fully understood my position.
“I needed to Father my son 2 days a week, due to my Wife working in a stressful job within the NHS. BAE arranged for me to Join but on a part-time basis until we were able to fit my son into Nursery.”
Eventually, despite the challenges provided by the pandemic, Ant joined the team at BAE Systems.
“The start-up was very slow due to the pandemic and was a challenge in its own right to get me up to speed with the admin side of things and training.
“I participated and completed all the training courses that were on my list to do before the end of 2020. I have worked on a number of projects now but still very early stages as there is so much to take on.”
Having made his return to STEM with BAE Systems, Ant is excited about his professional development as a design engineer and speaks highly of the programme.
“I still have a long way to go with gaining experience within the team but I’m confident I will be developing myself enough to get there soon.”
“I would highly recommend the STEM returners programme to anyone who is willing to get back on track with a prestigious company such as BAE Systems.”
“It has provided me with a secure and interesting career and the option of having the flexibility of working from home and from the office. The balance of my working life and family has improved!”