Boeing and STEM Returners launch second Return Flight

Posted on 24 June, 2024 by Advance 

Boeing and STEM Returners have launched the second 'Return Flight' programme to help professionals back to work after a career break.
Image courtesy Boeing

Specifically targeting employment fields such as engineering, operations and quality, the initiative provides a unique opportunity for people with expertise in these areas to reintegrate into the workforce. The programme focuses on learning, development and workplace transition to equip returners with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in their respective roles.

The new programme follows a successful pilot last year in which Joanna Carver was able to return after breaking from her career twice to have her children. She joined Boeing as a Technical Publications specialist at their Bristol site.

Joanna said: “I feel blessed to be chosen to join Boeing under the wings of the STEM Returners programme. It was daunting to return to work after some time away, so I appreciated the extra support and inspiration both organisations provided. The programme reinforces positive values and attitudes, whilst guiding you through various topics from wellbeing to leadership skills. I feel extremely positive about my career at Boeing.”
Key components of the Return Flight programme include tailored onboarding and programme orientation, foundational upskilling, personal coaching sessions, and professional and leadership skills development. Each participant will be matched with a dedicated professional coach, mentor, and buddy who will provide ongoing support throughout their return-to-work journey and facilitate their professional growth.

The programme is open to candidates who have taken a minimum continuous or combined career break of 12 months, for any reason. After completing the 12-week programme, participants have the opportunity for permanent employment.

Return-to-work specialists STEM Returners will source candidates and provide additional support, including advice, career coaching, and mentoring, to ensure applicants are ready and confident to return to work.

Research from STEM Returners reveals 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.

Natalie Desty, Director of STEM Returners, said: “We are delighted to be relaunching the Return Flight programme with Boeing to help qualified and passionate professionals return to work. There is a known shortage of skills across STEM industries in the UK; and it is only through partnerships like this, that we will make vital changes in STEM recruitment practices to help those who are finding it challenging to return to the sector and improve diversity and inclusion.”

Since STEM Returners first launched in 2017, more than 500 STEM Returners candidates have joined programmes across the UK.
To view STEM Returners opportunities: