Aecom has announced a new partnership with STEM Returners to help people return to the industry after a career break.
The infrastructure consultant will offer the STEM Returners programme at its locations across the UK.
The fully paid six-month programme acts as a ‘returnship’, allowing candidates to be reintegrated into an inclusive environment upon their return to the workplace.
The roles will be across Aecom’s building and places, environment, energy and water, and transportation teams. They will include positions such as landscape architect, bridge engineer, and project manager.
STEM Returners will source candidates and provide them with additional support including advice, career coaching, and mentoring.
Jo Atkinson, Aecom HR director, Europe, said: “Our returners programme has proven success – we have been thrilled to see how much our past cohorts have achieved at Aecom and their contribution to each team is highly valued.
“We’re delighted to team up with STEM Returners to run this year’s programme and would encourage anyone applying through the programme to go for it – our returners are welcomed, coached and mentored along their journey.
“Our ground-breaking Freedom to Grow philosophy is embedded throughout the business, meaning that we encourage people to work in a way which suits their clients, their team and importantly themselves – whether that’s through flexible hours or undertaking tasks in a way which enables them to deliver their best work.”
Annual research from STEM Returners (The STEM Returners Index) shows the challenges people who have had a career break face when trying to return – recruitment bias being the main barrier to entry.
According to the Index, 66% of STEM professionals on a career break say they are finding the process of attempting to return to work either difficult or very difficult. Nearly half (46%) of participants said they felt bias because of a lack of recent experience.
Natalie Desty, director of STEM Returners, said: “People wanting to return to work after a career break face an uphill battle, especially when they want to return to STEM industries.
“Our programme is tried and tested with some of the world’s leading STEM firms, and we are very proud to be entering this new partnership with Aecom, to return highly skilled people back into the industry they love.”
STEM Returners recently launched the 2023 survey for its annual Index. The survey is open to all STEM professionals who have had a gap in their career, who are attempting to return to work or who have recently returned to work.
The survey will be open until 30 June and is available here.