The drive to encourage more West Country engineers to return to work after career breaks has been given a major boost thanks to Bristol based engineering giant Babcock International, and Dorset based Atlas Elektronik.

Partnering with STEM Returners, Babcock and Atlas Elektonik are offering a trailblazing 13-week programme aimed at giving highly qualified engineers a chance to show that taking extended time away from work is not a barrier to getting a job in 2018. It’s on offer to men and women who have more than a year’s career break from science, technology or engineering – and is also open to candidates who have the skills and experience to transfer their technical career.

The available jobs are varied and include Mechanical Design, Electrical Design, Systems Design, Signal Processing, Model Development, Product Quality and Software Engineering amongst others. Candidates may have a background in any industry as full training will be given as part of the programme.

Regional job recruitment experts are hoping the special programme will prove a breakthrough moment to plug a worrying West Country “skills gap” in the science, technology, engineering and manufacturing (STEM) sectors.

STEM Returners is hoping it’s initiative, launched in conjunction with the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST) and the Women’s Engineering Society (WES), will be the key to persuading engineers to return to work.

Candidates signing up to these “STEM Returners” programmes will join a paid 13-week structured return to work programme, including soft skills training, technical training and on the job experience, as well as coaching and mentoring support. At the end of 13 weeks, both companies will make permanent job offers to those returners who show they have what it takes to work for these key employers. This isn’t just work experience but a genuine opportunity to restart careers.

Those wanting to take up the offer have until Friday 24th February to apply at

Kirsten Bodley, CEO at Women’s Engineering Society said “This is a brilliant opportunity for anyone wanting to return to STEM careers or to transfer within the sectors. There are exciting jobs at the end of this comprehensive programme which includes real work experience and training with forward-looking employers who recognise the talent returners offer.”

Natalie Desty, Workforce Development at IMarEST added “We are so excited to be running this programme in partnership with Babcock and Atlas Elektronik. We know that there are lots of talented and experienced candidates who have taken a career break, and have faced a block to returning to industry. This programme lifts that block to return to a meaningful and valuable career’

Contact for further information: Natalie Desty, Phone: 07850766392  Email:

About STEM Returners:

The STEM Returners project is a programme to help employers recruit, develop and retain the best available talent, and to enable highly qualified and experienced candidates to re-start their career.  It aims to redress the gender imbalance within STEM, and work with employers to view CV gaps in a different way.  Operating within an incredibly skills short market, this scheme will allow employers to attract candidates from a new talent pool, and give candidates a supported route back to their career.

This project is co-supported by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology and the Women’s Engineering Society.  We passionately believe that providing a mechanism to motivated and experienced candidates to return to STEM, will help to create the diverse, agile and innovative STEM workforce that the UK needs for today and the future.

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