The STEM Returners programme can help employers recruit, develop and retain experienced talent
Wates is furthering its commitment to improving gender imbalances across the construction industry by launching its second STEM Returners programme.
The programme will include opportunities across the construction business, including site manager, project manager and project engineer roles.
Return-to-work specialists STEM Returners will source the candidates and provide career coaching and mentoring.
The new programme follows the success of the first partnership between Wates and STEM Returners last year which helped six returners back to industry.
There was a point when I started to feel that it was tough to get a suitable role after a career break. But with the help and connection of STEM Returners I am now able to move forward with my career
One of those people was Anwesha Gupta, who was able to secure a role as a bid manager after a two-year career break to look after her young daughter after moving to the UK.
Prior to finding the opportunity at Wates, Gupta, who is based near St Neots in Cambridgeshire, found it difficult to reach recruiters and secure an interview through standard recruitment channels, despite her 11 years’ experience in the civil and structural industry.
“Most of the time I was told that they saved my resume for future reference. It was tricky to secure a further interview as I didn’t have prior UK experience,” she said.
“There was a point when I started to feel that it was tough to get a suitable role after a career break. But with the help and connection of STEM Returners I am now able to move forward with my career.
“There are certain circumstances in people’s lives where they need to interrupt their professional journey in order to take care of other things such as family life and health. But that doesn’t mean the end of their career.”
Annual research from STEM Returners (The STEM Returners Index) highlights the challenges people face when trying to return to work following a career break, with recruitment bias shown to be the main barrier to entry.
STEM Returners’ programmes aim to eliminate these barriers by giving candidates real work experience and mentoring during their placement, as well as supporting them to adjust to life back in work.
Nikunj Upadhyay, inclusion and diversity director at Wates Group, said: “We are delighted to continue our partnership with STEM Returners to ensure talented individuals are not held back from pursuing a meaningful career of choice.
“We look forward to welcoming them into our business. For us, this programme is a bridge where experience meets opportunity, paving the way for a brighter, more inclusive, and diverse tomorrow.”