AECOM's David Barwell explains how its returner programme helps address the issue of gender imbalance in the engineering industry


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Career returner programme at AECOM offers paid placements

Career returner programme at AECOM offers paid placements

Returning to work after a career break can be difficult, especially if you have been out of employment for a long period of time, for example women who have left work to look after their children. Some employers might overlook these experienced, and the often highly motivated candidates, in favour of those who've had a continuous career progression or are fresh to the industry. However, company's like AECOM actively welcome returners back into the fold, recognising they provide an untapped resource of great experience and talent.

Speaking with Construction Management Magazine AECOM's Chief Executive, UK & Ireland, David Barwell, explains the company's returner programme and how AECOM is calling on further companies to join them in actively welcoming women back into the workplace after a career break.

AECOM's career returner programme

"Most companies are familiar with internships and work placements to help attract graduate trainees, but it is crucial that industry also supports women and men back into the workplace following career breaks. AECOM's returners programme, which recently welcomed its first group of employees, is designed to tap into a new group of potential employees – a group which brings diversity of perspective, a fresh pair of eyes and, in many cases, a wealth of experience," explains David

"The programme is aimed at those with mid to senior level experience who have been out of the workplace for a significant period of time and wish to return to work. This break may have been to raise a family, care for a family member or even travel the world."

The details

AECOM's career returners programme offers a paid placement coupled with a structured programme of support including training, coaching and mentoring to help participants reacclimatise to the corporate landscape, build up their confidence and undertake any training or knowledge updates as required. The paid placements are six months long and where possible will lead to a permanent role within the organisation.

"There are many reasons why AECOM urges others in the industry to develop similar programmes," comments David. "For one, it enables firms to target an untapped group of highly qualified and experienced professionals and address the skills gap that exists, particularly at more experienced levels of our industry."

Nurturing women in the workplace

"As an industry, we must apply our problem-solving skills to encourage female talent into the engineering profession. At AECOM we strive for a workforce that represents diversity of thought and already have a number of strategies in place to facilitate the hiring and advancement of female talent," continues David. 

"We are pleased with our progress but the job is far from complete. Industry must continue to work together to remove the barriers that can prevent women from reaching key positions and becoming future leaders and decision-makers."

Looking to return back to work as an experienced professional? 

If you've had a career break and are looking to get back into engineering, watch this space for details of AECOM's next returners programme. AECOM is always looking for ways to champion women in the engineering industry in order to help them prosper and progress. If you would like the chance to work for this progressive company check out the latest job opportunities today. 
 

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