Employers tapping into returning talent

Our Women Returners Programme got underway in May 2017 and already women returners are back on track with their careers. Three women began paid placements in July and August; two with Scottish Power and one with EDF Energy.  A further two Scottish Power placements will begin in October. Both companies were keen to continue to partner with us after offering returner placements on our successful pilot in 2016.

Technology companies J P Morgan and Sopra Steria advertised our first IT placements in July and August. They have been impressed with the quality of applicants for Software Developer and Business Analyst roles. Eurofins Biopharma in Edinburgh interviewed applicants for our first science placement, to fill a crucial business role from our pool. So we are optimistic filled placement numbers will rise shortly.

With 40 talented women looking for opportunities, we are still seeking additional STEM employer partners, especially for our largest pool – female scientists.

‘I am actively and confidently seeking both placements and permanent roles but nothing has come up yet in my area of STEM.’

A number of partnerships are still being finalised and we are keen to get placement numbers into double figures. As with Eurofins, employers can use the placement option to try to recruit a returner as a first step in trying to meet an identified business need.

We can quickly identify if we have the skills required in our pool. This is proving to be an effective way to accelerate the process of engaging employers and then finding suitable placement opportunities within their business.

In the meantime our returners have been busy completing career and CV development activities, engaging in career clinics and working through The Open University’s ‘Returning to STEM’ online course.

‘The help and support available has made me feel excited about the future. I realise now that I am not alone’

This support has helped 8 of our returners find a permanent role, which is fantastic.

‘Thanks so much for introducing me to your programme, the confidence and knowledge gained… certainly helped me a lot in the interview process for the job I’ve been offered.’

This also means that spaces will come up and so anyone eligible – STEM qualified but out of STEM for at least 2 years – is always welcome to apply.

Confidence is a crucial element when job-seeking. For some a supported placement is an essential stepping stone to build that confidence within a work environment, and to get recent experience on their CV.

‘I feel completely ready to return to work or a placement. I do suspect, having been away from STEM, I would be unlikely to be selected for any STEM job. This is why I believe that the placements Equate offers are absolutely key to getting back to work’.

Most participants did not know about Equate previously. Many found out about this Programme through women (and men) who do. We appreciate your help in sharing this opportunity with women in your network and so do the employers now welcoming them into their teams.

Contact Programme lead, Lesley Macniven, if your organisation is interested in finding out how to tap into returning talent.

Follow us on twitter #womenreturnersscot @EquateScotland