Unearthing female talent via AECOM's returner programme

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AECOM attracting professionals back to work via returner programme

AECOM attracting professionals back to work via returner programme

Most of us are familiar with internships and work placements for graduate trainees, but now a new wave of Career Returner Programmes have been introduced in forward thinking businesses like AECOM which see women and men supported back into the workplace following a career break of 2 years or more.

AECOM knows that the power to create innovative solutions and be the best is connected to its ability to attract, develop and manage diverse teams, and so their career returners scheme is designed to tap into a new group of potential employees - a group who brings diversity of perspective, a fresh pair of eyes and, in many cases, a wealth of experience.

AECOM women returners

With a number of paid placements in Transport, Civil Engineering, Mechanical & Electrical Engineering (Building Engineering), Project Management, Quantity Surveying, Contracts Support, Environmental Ecology and Environmental Impact Assessment all being supported by AECOM’s newly launched Returners program - it is great to learn that individuals who have previously enjoyed successful careers in these areas will get a second chance to re-enter the world they thrive in.

The placements will be six months long and where possible it is anticipated that this will then lead to a permanent role within AECOM following completion.

Claire Wilkinson, Senior HR Manager will be leading the program and is excited about what it means for AECOM and the undiscovered talent it will attract.

“AECOM is stepping up its Diversity agenda and truly embedding Diversity & Inclusion fully within our culture to ensure that we are an industry leader in attracting, developing and managing a diverse workforce - where merit is the only thing that counts. For those that have taken a career break it is often true that they struggle to get back in to the workplace through both conscious and unconscious bias’s towards the gap in their CV. At AECOM we are looking past that and not only actively recruiting individuals who have had a career break, as we recognise that they bring diversity of perspective and a wealth of experience, but also ensuring that we provide a supportive programme alongside the work opportunity to help ease any required transition back into the workplace. This support will include a mentor, professional coaching from Women Returners and also line managers who are fully engaged in the Returner programme.”

A high-calibre diverse talent pool at AECOM

Of course AECOM’s Returners program is not only a great opportunity for those seeking to re-enter the workforce - AECOM itself is very excited by the breadth of experience these individuals will bring with them on appointment, and is confident that this will allow access to a high-calibre diverse talent pool that may have previously been under-utilised.

Amanda Dear, Senior Talent Acquisition Consultant at AECOM, who is leading the recruitment for the programme, is excited about the launch of the new programme. “AECOM Returners is an excellent programme for those who are wanting a clear route back into a corporate role but feel that the gap in their employment on their CV may be a barrier to them," says Amanda. "It is fantastic to be able to offer a programme that is specifically geared towards supporting someone back into the working world with opportunities on a par to the career they previously had, along with the opportunity for coaching, mentoring and being part of a network of other Returners. Our Returners will have the opportunity to work on some of AECOM’s leading and high profile projects in a number of our business sectors, bringing in their prior experience but also a fresh perspective to our teams and roles which is so valuable.”

Richard Whitehead, Managing Director of Metro 2, Buildings & Places is also very excited about what this programme means for the company.

“The AECOM Returners program provides AECOM another platform to recruit high performing resources and also presents an ideal opportunity to continue our excellent D&I initiatives which provides diversity of thought and continues to make AECOM an excellent place of work.  The programme will allow people who have been out of the working environment for over 2 years the ability to re-enter it in a supportive way.  AECOM is uniquely positioned to work on a number of magnificent projects around the world, specifically within Buildings & Places as our projects span a number of industries including education, rail and sports stadiums.  We look forward to welcoming the programme recruits in April,” he says.

Personalised support for career returners

With an excellent framework of support tailored to individual needs on both a technical and personal level, experienced Line Managers at AECOM will ensure the right level of support is given to all Returners from day one.

“The staff we have identified to mentor and line manage successful applicants are positive and enthusiastic individuals who understand the added value life experience can bring to the teams as a whole,” advises Tamsin Wray, Technical Director - Environment, AECOM.

An exciting time to re-enter the industry

Kate Morris, Director - Strategic Planning & Advisory, Transportation at AECOM believes it is not only the 6 month structured re-entry back into the workplace that will be appealing to those returning from a career break, but the strong company ethos as a whole that enables all individuals to reach their full potential.

“We believe that there is a wealth of talent who left the industry they loved to concentrate on other commitments. AECOM's programme offers those individuals an opportunity to re-engage with an organisation at the forefront of infrastructure provision working on high profile projects across the UK from HS2 through to The Spire, the largest residential tower in Europe,” she explains. “The opportunity to join a group of similar individuals who will all be undergoing the same transition will offer even more encouragement.”

Creating a diverse and skilled workforce

With exciting international projects and fantastic opportunities for career development, AECOM is a place where you will enjoy fulfilling work where your skills and expertise will be truly valued. Its highly collaborative and multidisciplinary workplaces are designed to ignite ideas across all its disciplines now and in the future. With the new dawn of a focused, driven and highly skilled workforce re-entering the business via AECOM's returner programme - the only way is up for this exciting and innovative company.

“I’m very excited to be leading this Returners programme for AECOM and expanding our diverse workforce to deliver the exciting projects that we have planned. This is a great opportunity for women and men alike to be part of AECOM Returners and I look forward to them joining the AECOM team,” states Claire Wilkinson.

Keep an eye out for the next intake

AECOM is committed to supporting career returners, so research where your skills might fit.


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