Careers and News

Skanska programme to bring career breakers back to construction

Skanska UK is increasing its efforts to recruit construction workers who have taken a career break.

Skanksa recruitment career break diversity
Skanksa’s STEM Returners programme will focus on diversity

The construction giant has joined a programme which aims to bring people experienced in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) back into the industry.

It will be run by careers consultant STEM Returners who will source candidates, with a focus on diversity and inclusion. A pilot scheme will commence shortly focussing on current opportunities for planners, with further roles becoming available later this year.

The fully-paid, 12-week placements act as a ‘returnship’, allowing candidates to be re-integrated into an inclusive environment. On completion, Skanska UK may offer full-time roles to successful candidates.

“We’re delighted to be participating in this new pilot scheme with STEM Returners,” says Catherine Mooney, head of recruitment at Skanska UK.

“We recognise the importance of a diverse approach to recruitment, and this is an imaginative way for us to reach highly experienced candidates who have taken some time out of work, yet who possess a range of relevant skills.”

Career break returners face ‘recruitment bias’

STEM Returners has researched the challenges faced by people who have had a career break, including ‘recruitment bias’. The STEM Returners’ programme aims to eliminate barriers, by giving candidates real work experience and mentoring during their placement, helping them to seamlessly adjust to life back in work.

The scheme also has the benefit of increasing diversity in host organisations. STEM Returners’ population of experienced professionals who are attempting to return to work is 51% female and 38% from black and minority ethnic groups.

Anouska Carling, diversity and inclusion lead at STEM Returners, said: “We’re really proud to be entering this new partnership with Skanska, to provide opportunities to highly skilled people who have been overlooked and undervalued. “Only by partnering with industry leaders like Skanska, will we make important changes to recruitment practices across the STEM sector. In making these changes we hope to help industry realise the value of returners and improve diversity and inclusion.”

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