Return-to-work programme to help parents and carers back into tech and engineering roles

Aug 1, 2023 | News

The second phase of a return-to-work support programme that has helped more than 40 parents and carers with engineering and tech experience get back to their careers is set to launch in October.

The STEM ReCharge return-to-work support programme provides career coaching, job skills training, mentoring and technical refresh sessions to parents and carers in the Midlands and northern England who want to return to the engineering and tech industries following a career break.

It is delivered by return-to-work experts STEM Returners and Women Returners, and funded by the Government’s Equality Hub.

Insight and lessons learned from the first group of returners, who completed the programme in June and July, will be used to support the second phase of the programme starting in October.

Minister for Women, Maria Caulfield MP, said: “I’d like to encourage more parents and carers to take advantage of this brilliant programme, which has already seen such success. We know there is a shortage in STEM employees and 75,000 STEM returners who want to get back to work.

“Matching candidates with a wealth of skills and qualifications with employers who need experienced people is a win for business, equality, and the economy. That’s why we are investing in returners.”

October programme dates and deadlines

  • Programme dates: October – November 2023 (during school hours), with follow-on support until mid-2024
  • Apply ASAP, by 20 September 2023 at the latest (first come, first served; may close earlier)

Register now 

The registration form for the programme can be found here: STEM ReCharge Returner Application 2023 – October Cohort Survey

To join the STEM ReCharge return-to-work support programme you must meet the criteria set by the Government Equality Hub:

  • Applicants must live in the Midlands
  • Applicants need to have taken a career break from work due to caring responsibilities (childcare or eldercare)
  • Applicants need to have been out of work for a minimum of 12 months as of 1 October 2023 (for October cohort), or have been working in a lower paid, lower skilled role due to caring responsibilities
  • Applicants must have the right to work in the UK

Applications are particularly welcomed from individuals with longer career breaks, from ethnic minority backgrounds and older age groups.

The programme is aimed at people of all genders who wish to return to professional level work within technology or engineering.

Programme content

The programme spans over three months and includes:

  • Initial careers coaching sessions, weekly for two hours
  • Three 1.5 hour Employer Refresh sessions (engineering companies or tech company insights)
  • Weekly returner post-programme progress drop-ins
  • Connection with a senior industry mentor for weekly minimum one-hour mentoring sessions, ongoing

The programme covers:

  • Industry updates and refreshers
  • Work-life balance management
  • Communicating transferrable skills
  • Interview and application skills
  • Confidence building and how to mitigate imposter syndrome
  • Various other skills

Further information

Further information is available here: STEM ReCharge – STEM Returners

Please note that this will be the end of the STEM ReCharge programme pilot. The Government may invest in it again, but this is not guaranteed.

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