Pure Data Centres has formed a new partnership with STEM Returners to help engineers, construction and IT specialists get back into work after a career break.
The company will offer a STEM Returners programme at their site in Brent Cross, London but many of the roles can be carried out remotely. Roles include electrical and mechanical engineers, technical support and project management.
STEM Returners, based in Hampshire, will source candidates for the programme, which aims to return or transfer experienced engineers back into industry following a career break. The fully paid placements act as a ‘returnship’, allowing candidates to be re-integrated into an inclusive environment upon their return to STEM.
Annual research from STEM Returners (The STEM Returners Index) has revealed the challenges people who have had a career break face when trying to return – recruitment bias being the main barrier to entry.
Natalie Desty, Director of STEM Returners, says: “We are very proud to be entering this new partnership with Pure Data Centres, to return highly skilled people back into the industry they love. Only by partnering with industry leaders like Pure Data Centres, 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.”
Dawn Childs, CEO (Operations) for Pure states: “Pure is passionate about diversity and inclusion in the workforce because our people are the heartbeat of our business. This Returners Programme will be a great addition to our suite of initiatives to help us to attract and retain the best talent.”
There is a well-known skills shortage in the UK engineering industry, but despite a clear need for people, professionals who have had a career break are often overlooked. In the recent 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.
The STEM Returners’ programme aims to eliminate barriers, by giving candidates real work experience and mentoring during their placement and helping them to seamlessly adjust to life back in work.
Whilst the scheme 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.
Successful candidates may be offered full-time positions at Pure Data Centres Group upon the completion of their 12-week placement. Since STEM Returners launched in 2017, over 270 STEM Returner candidates have joined programmes across the UK.