Green energy giants Ørsted have announced an ambitious new programme aimed at re-introducing engineers back into the workforce following a career-break.
The scheme, which has been pioneered by recruitment firm STEM Returners, offers 12-week fully paid placements to mid-senior level engineers who are currently overlooked by standardised recruitment methods.
The roles based in London will focus on Geophysical and Power Systems Engineering and will provide a massive boost to STEM professionals in the South East.
The STEM skills gap currently costs an estimated 89% of UK businesses difficulty in recruiting new talent. The programme, however, allows companies to tap into a diverse talent pool of engineers, scientists and other STEM candidates and was recently recognised as a vital tool for workforce diversity by Maritime UK, winning their annual Diversity award.
Following the 12-week programme, successful candidates may be offered full-time positions at Ørsted and In total 96% of previous programme participants have been offered full-time roles at their host companies.
In a recent report commissioned by STEM Returners looking at the attitudes of over 300 engineers, they found that over two-thirds believed the recruitment process actively works against them.
Already a significant issue, ‘unconscious bias’ has the potential to have a serious impact on the efforts to reemploy the thousands facing redundancy due to Covid-19.
Groups facing the biggest barriers to re-entry include female engineers responsible for childcare and those from ethnic minorities including refugees. Graduates from ethnic minorities also face high barriers to entering the industry.
“Our partnership with Ørsted is fantastic news and will offer much needed accessible opportunities to mid-senior level engineers.” Said Natalie Desty, founder of STEM Returners
“STEM Returners has a proud record of improving diversity and inclusion with our paid-placements. Currently we buck national trends with over a third of our returners coming from Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic backgrounds and nearly half of all our successful candidates are women. Currently only one in ten engineers is female and only 7% of the UK workforce are BAME.”