Binnies, an RSK company, has formed a new partnership with STEM Returners to enable professionals to return to work after a career break.
With offices in the UK and beyond, Binnies delivers sustainable and resilient water and environment projects around the world. The company has launched the STEM Returners programme initially offering four roles including Civil Engineer and Project Manager to be based at their sites in Glasgow, Redhill, Chester and Bradford on Avon. The scheme is specifically available to professionals who have been on a career break and are looking to return to the industry.
Scott Aitken, Managing Director at Binnies UK, said: “At Binnies diversity and inclusion sits at the heart of our business with our sense of purpose bringing to life tangible actions where we can make a difference and improve lives. Being a part of STEM Returners is one of those tangible differences we can make where we can bring back significant talent that is very much needed due to skills shortages in the water and environmental sectors, and importantly do this in a very supportive way such that our returners feel valued, engaged and included.”
STEM Returners, based in Hampshire, will help source the candidates and support them with mentoring and careers coaching services.
STEM Returners was launched in 2017 by Natalie Desty after she saw how hard it was for people to return to STEM after a career break. They work with companies to facilitate returnships, which allow candidates to be re-integrated into an inclusive environment upon their return to the industry.
Natalie Desty, Director of STEM Returners said: “We are delighted to be launching this new returner scheme with Binnies 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 Binnies, 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.”
The STEM Returners programme is the latest drive to improve equality and diversity within the company and the wider industry and remove barriers to entry for under-represented groups. This includes the use of a gender decoder on job specs and adverts, having mixed interview panels wherever possible, using structured interview questions and (where appropriate) skills-based assessments, and making recruitment agencies aware of the company’s EDI targets.
In STEM Returners’ annual survey – The STEM Returners Index – 66% of STEM professionals on a career break said they are finding the process of attempting to return to work either difficult or very difficult and that nearly half (46%) of participants said they felt bias because of a lack of recent experience.
STEM Returners’ programme aims to eliminate these barriers by giving candidates real work experience and mentoring during their placement, as well as supporting them to seamlessly adjust to life back in work.
Whilst the scheme helps solve the challenge of sourcing talent in sectors that need it, it also has the added benefit of increasing diversity in a host organisation. STEM Returners’ population of experienced professionals who are attempting to return to work are 46% female and 44% from ethnic minority groups, compared to 14% female and 9% from ethnic minority groups working in industry.
Since STEM Returners first launched in 2017, more than 310 STEM Returners candidates have joined programmes across the UK. To view STEM Returners opportunities, visit https://www.stemreturners.com/placements/