AWE launches new jobs for STEM professionals

Posted on 24 October, 2022 by Advance 

AWE has formed a new partnership with STEM Returners to support STEM professionals returning to work after a career break.

Image courtesy AWE

The nuclear defence company has launched this new scheme, offering up to 12 new roles in areas such as manufacturing engineering, systems engineering as well as IT positions. The roles, based at their sites in Berkshire, are specifically available to STEM professionals who have been on a career break and are looking to return to the workplace.

STEM Returners, based in Hampshire, will help source the candidates and support them with mentoring and careers coaching services.

STEM Returners was launched in 2017 by Natalie Desty after she saw how hard it was for people to return to STEM after a career break. They work with companies to facilitate returnships, which allow candidates to be re-integrated into an inclusive environment upon their return to the industry.

Natalie Desty, Director of STEM Returners said: “We are delighted to be launching this new returner scheme with AWE to support highly skilled people back into the industry they love. There is a known shortage of skills across STEM industries, and we know that people who have had a career break are faced with an uphill task of getting back into the profession.

“Only by partnering with industry leaders, like AWE, will we make vital changes in STEM recruitment practices, helping those who find it challenging to return to the sector and improve diversity and inclusion.”

Megan Hunt, Executive Director for HR, at AWE said: “At AWE we are committed to building an inclusive culture that positively embraces diversity and inclusion, recognising that everyone can make a difference. We are delighted to partner with STEM Returners on this vital scheme helping us to attract and welcome talented individuals back into the workforce. We are confident that this initiative and supportive route back into employment will positively contribute towards AWE’s strategic mission; delivering solutions for a safe and secure future.”  

There is a well-known skills shortage in the UK engineering industry but, despite a clear demand for people, there is a group of talented and educated professionals who are willing and able to take on these roles that is being overlooked.

In STEM Returners’ annual survey - The STEM Returners Index – 66% of STEM professionals on a career break said they are finding the process of attempting to return to work either difficult or very difficult and that nearly half (46%) of participants said they felt bias because of a lack of recent experience.

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

Whilst the scheme helps solve the challenge of sourcing talent in sectors that need it, it also has the added benefit of increasing diversity in a host organisation. STEM Returners’ population of experienced professionals who are attempting to return to work are 46% female and 44% from ethnic minority groups, compared to 14% female and 9% from ethnic minority groups working in industry.

Since STEM Returners first launched in 2017, more than 310 STEM Returners candidates have joined programmes across the UK. To view STEM Returners opportunities, visit