A new scheme has been launched for STEM professionals on a career break who want to return to the industry.

Consultancy Indicatura is working with STEM Returners to source candidates and support with mentoring and careers coaching.

The scheme is open to all levels from graduates to senior consultants with an engineering background, who have an interest in understanding how physical assets are configured, maintained and used.

Ian Kennedy, of Indicatura, said: “We are excited to be working with STEM Returners to help in the effort to eliminate the difficult barriers that candidates face returning to work after a career break, and are proud to say that we wholeheartedly value the experience and skills that returners have which is so often overlooked.”

STEM Returners was launched in 2017 by Natalie Desty after she saw how hard it was for people to return to STEM after a career break. They work with companies to facilitate returnships, which allow candidates to be re-integrated into an inclusive environment.

Natalie added: “We are delighted to be launching this new returner scheme with Indicatura to support highly skilled people back into the industry they love. There is a known shortage of skills across STEM industries, and we know that people who have had a career break are faced with an uphill task of getting back into the profession.”

In STEM Returners’ annual survey – The STEM Returners Index – 66% of STEM professionals on a career break said they are finding the process of attempting to return to work either difficult or very difficult and that nearly half (46%) of participants said they felt bias because of a lack of recent experience.

STEM Returners offers candidates work experience and mentoring during their placement, as well as helping them adjust to life back in work.

The scheme has also helped boost diversity in host organisations. STEM Returners are 46% female and 44% from ethnic minority groups, compared to 14% female and 9% from ethnic minority groups working in industry.

For details, see stemreturners.com/placements.