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The Business Magazine November 2023
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Mott MacDonald launches returners programme in Brighton 

3 October 2023
The Business Magazine article image for: Mott MacDonald launches returners programme in Brighton 
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Global engineering firm Mott MacDonald is launching a new jobs programme to help engineers return to work after a career break. 

The firm’s second returners programme is being run in partnership with Fareham-based STEM Returners, one of the UK’s leading return-to-work scheme providers, and will mainly be based at their sites in Brighton as well as in Altringham and across Scotland. 

The first phase of the programme will have up to nine available opportunities in civil, mechanical and electrical skill sets, with more roles becoming available in 2024. 

The new programme will be part of Mott MacDonald’s Re:Connectors initiative, which offers opportunities for experienced professionals who have had a career break and are now looking to rebuild their career or people who are looking to change industries. 

Natalie Desty, Director of STEM Returners said: “Only by partnering with industry leaders like Mott MacDonald, will we make vital changes in STEM recruitment practices, to help those who are finding it challenging to return to the sector and improve diversity and inclusion.”

Annual research from STEM Returners (The STEM Returners Index), published last week, shows the challenges people who have had career break face, when trying to return to STEM – recruitment bias being the main barrier to entry. Over half (51%) of STEM professionals on a career break say they are finding the process of attempting to return to work either difficult or very difficult and more than a third (38%) of participants said they felt bias because of a lack of recent experience. As a result, 30% of returners say their personal confidence has been affected by the recruitment challenges they face, and their low confidence remains a barrier.

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Whilst the STEM Returners programme helps solve the problem 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.

Jen Ross, regional Human Resources Manager at Mott MacDonald, said: “We are excited to be taking part in the Stem Returners programme this year supporting our inclusion and diversity ambitions. We look forward to welcoming candidates who may have had a career break or change and want the experience of working with a company that is supportive, engaged and appreciative of the skills and experiences they will bring to Mott MacDonald and our clients.”

Successful candidates may be offered full-time positions at Mott MacDonald upon the completion of their 12-week placement. Since STEM Returners launched in 2017, more than 400 STEM Returner candidates have joined programmes across the UK.

Nicky Godding is editor of The Business Magazine. Before her journalism career, she worked mainly in public relations moving into writing when she was invited to launch Retail Watch, a publication covering retail and real estate across Europe.

After some years of constant travelling, she tucked away her passport and concentrated on business writing, co-founding a successful regional business magazine. She has interviewed some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs who have built multi-million-pound businesses and reported on many science and technology firsts.

She reports on the region’s thriving business economy from start-ups, family businesses and multi-million-pound corporations, to the professionals that support their growth and the institutions that educate the next generation of business leaders.

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