Free STEM returner programme for Midlands and North

Women Returners and STEM Returners will be running a free Government-backed programme for women in STEM in the Midlands and North of England.

STEM, Chemistry, Chemist


Parents and carers in the Midlands and the North of England trying to return to STEM industries after a career break will be able to apply for a free Government programme delivered by return to work experts Women Returners and STEM Returners.

The STEM ReCharge initiative, launched and funded by the Government Equality Hub, will provide return to work career coaching, job skills training and sector-specific upskilling and mentoring to 100 returners with tech or engineering experience. Analysis carried out by Women Returners and STEM Returners shows the Midlands and North of England have far fewer returner programmes than southern areas.

The programme will also work with and support employers in the Midlands and the North of England with training and advice. Employer Insight Events will take place in Leeds (24 April) Liverpool (25 April) and Birmingham (26 April), where local organisations can find out more about the training and learn from the experience of Women Returners and STEM Returners, together with successful returner employers and returners. The events are being supported by local authorities and business leaders.

Julianne Miles, CEO of Women Returners, said: “Over the last nine years, we have seen the multiple challenges parents and carers face when trying to return to professional roles after a long career break. More support is needed around the UK, but particularly in the Midlands and the North. Working together with local employers, we can create more supported routes back to work for parents and carers and continue to dismantle the career break penalty that is so evident in STEM.”

The Government estimates that there are currently around 75,000 people (the majority women) who are economically inactive due to caring responsibilities in the UK, who had a STEM occupation before their career and who would like to return to work in the future.

In addition to coaching and job skills training, STEM ReCharge participants will receive 1:1 mentoring for a tech or engineering mentor and an opportunity to attend a tech or engineering ReFresh Week with updating sessions from industry experts to prepare them for interviews. Small group sessions will encourage peer support networks and there will be follow-on support with finding suitable work opportunities and reintegrating into the workforce.

Returners can apply for the STEM ReCharge programme here.

Employer event details:

LEEDS: Monday 24 April, 0930 to 1100, Bruntwood Scitech, Platform, New Station St, Leeds LS1 4JB. Supported by Leeds City Council. Book here.

LIVERPOOL: Tuesday 25 April, 0930 to 1100, The Women’s Organisation, 54 St James St, Liverpool L1 0AB. Supported by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. Book here.

BIRMINGHAM: Wednesday 26 April, 0930 to 1100, Birmingham City Centre location TBC. Supported by the West Midlands Combined Authority. Book here.

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