Leading energy and sustainable solutions provider E.ON has teamed up with return-to-work specialists STEM Returners to help engineers in the Midlands make a successful transition back to work after they’ve taken a career break.

E.ON, one of the UK’s top 10 most inclusive employers, will host a STEM Returners programme within its engineering division where there will be at least 10  opportunities for people wishing to join the company for a 12-week placement.

Each placement will include hybrid working, between the candidate’s home and either of E.ON’s sites in Coventry or Nottingham. Available roles will include Project Manager, Commercial Manager and Construction Manager.

STEM Returners will source the candidates and provide career coaching and mentoring throughout the 12-week paid placement. Returners may be offered the opportunity to become permanent E.ON employees at the end of the programme.

Research from STEM Returners (The STEM Returners Index) shows the challenges people face when trying to return to work following a career break, with recruitment bias shown to be the main barrier to entry. It also shows women trying to return to industry are more likely to experience recruitment bias than men.

STEM Returners’ programmes aim to eliminate these barriers by giving candidates real work experience and mentoring during their placement, as well as supporting them to adjust to life back in work.

Natalie Desty, Director of STEM Returners, said: “We are delighted to be working with E.ON to help professionals on a career break return to industry.

“There is a misconception that a career break leads to a deterioration of skills but that could not be further from the truth. Only by working together will we make vital changes in companies’ recruitment practices, to help those who are finding it challenging to return to work.”

Helen Bradbury, Chief People Officer at E.ON, said: “At E.ON, we are committed to offering opportunities for people on a fair and equal basis and to creating a working environment where everyone feels valued and respected, with a good work-life balance.

“We are excited to be working with STEM Returners, supporting people from a range of different career journeys and helping them bridge the gap back into work. As a nation, we need more people with STEM qualifications and green skills to help us deliver the transition to a cleaner, greener energy future and we are looking forward to welcoming our new returners soon.”

Since STEM Returners first launched in 2017, more than 475 STEM Returners candidates have joined programmes across the UK. To view STEM Returners’ opportunities, visit stemreturners.com/placements