Defence and Security specialists Lockheed Martin announce a brand new ‘returners’ scheme for UK engineers.
Lockheed Martin has made a commitment to workplace diversity and inclusion by adopting the award-winning STEM Returners Programme, which offers engineers unique paid placements.
The Programme runs for 12-weeks and provides an opportunity for those looking to return or transfer to a STEM role. Placements provide engineers with an opportunity to show their application and ability on a practical level, whilst giving firms the opportunity to test competencies in an ‘on the job’ setting.
To date, 96% of returners across all programmes have returned to the industry permanently – providing a huge boost for the STEM Skills gap, which currently sees UK businesses lose out on £1.5 billion a year.
In the wake of the Covid-19, many STEM professionals who are now seeking work will experience the limitations of outdated recruitment methods. During a study commissioned by the Hampshire based company in the first pandemic lockdown, 85% of participants believed that had been a victim of direct bias during the recruitment process.
The STEM Returners programme however bypasses the recruitment processes that work against candidates and instead enables a diverse talent pool to re-enter STEM. 46% of successful returners are women and nearly a third come from BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) Backgrounds.
The scheme received industry acclaim at the tail end of 2020, winning the prestigious ‘Diversity’ category at the Maritime UK Awards in Plymouth. The scheme also boasts support from its partner the Women’s Engineering Society. The organisation provides returners with mentors from its MentorSET project, helping welcome returners and transferring engineers back into an inclusive environment.
The partnership was spurred on by the need for gender equality in STEM, with currently only one in ten engineering roles held by a female. The Women’s Engineering Society estimate up to 20,000 qualified female engineers could potentially fill many job vacancies after career breaks.
Natalie Desty, Director of STEM Returners, said:
“There are lots of initiatives to cater to the next generation of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) workers but the STEM Returners programme is aimed specifically at those wishing to go back to engineering mid-career.”
“Working with an industry leader like Lockheed Martin will really give a boost to those currently disenfranchised from STEM. Their commitment to workplace diversity and inclusion is extremely encouraging and we hope other companies will follow the example Lockheed Martin have set!”