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Oxfordshire-based Orano launches new returners programme to support STEM professionals back into nuclear industry

23 May 2023
The Business Magazine article image for: Oxfordshire-based Orano launches new returners programme to support STEM professionals back into nuclear industry
Orano has launched a new returners programme to support STEM professionals back into the industry

Nuclear fuel cycle company Orano has formed a new partnership with STEM Returners to help STEM professionals return to work after a career break.

Orano works with some of the nuclear industry’s most complex and challenging nuclear projects, and as part of its continued drive to enhance inclusion, the organisation will offer a STEM Returners programme at its sites in Abingdon, Warrington and Whitehaven.

The roles for returners will include opportunities in Engineering Management and Mechanical Engineering.

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STEM Returners, a leading organisation in the UK in returner programmes, will source candidates and provide them with additional support including advice, career coaching, and mentoring; ensuring applicants are ready and confident to return to work.

Applicants will undertake a fully paid 12-week ‘returnship’ which allows candidates to be reintegrated into an inclusive work environment.

Annual research from STEM Returners (The STEM Returners Index) shows the challenges people who have had career break face, when trying to return – recruitment bias being the main barrier to entry. Sixty-six percent 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 that nearly half (46 per cent) 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.

“We are very proud to be entering this new partnership with Orano, to return highly skilled people back into the industry they love. Only by partnering with industry leaders like Orano 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.”

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John Storer, Managing Director of Orano Limited added: “Orano continuously looks for new talent, and so we are delighted to partner with STEM Returners to ensure that our door is open to those looking to get back into nuclear after a career break.

"We strive to create an environment where everyone can flourish and feel included, and we see this partnership as one of the key ways we can do that. We are looking forward to the next steps and meeting those who are interested in our opportunities.”

STEM Returners has recently launched the 2023 STEM Returners Index, an annual survey to understand STEM professionals’ experiences of trying to re-enter the sector after a career break.

"The STEM Returners Index is open to all STEM professions who have had a gap in their career or who are attempting to return to work or who have recently returned to work and will enable STEM Returners to further understand the barriers people face, track the progress UK STEM industries are making, and shine a light on the change needed to create fair opportunities for all.

Peter Davison is deputy editor of The Business Magazine. He has spent his life in journalism – doing work experience in newsrooms in and around Bristol while still at school, and landing his first job on a local newspaper aged 19. By 28 he was the youngest newspaper editor in the country.

An early advocate of online news, he spent the first years of the 2000s telling his bosses that the internet posed both the biggest opportunity and greatest threat to the newspaper industry and the art of journalism. He was right on both counts.

Since 2006 he has enjoyed a career as a freelance journalist. He lives in rural Wiltshire with one wife, two children, and three cats.

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