A new programme has been launched in Oxfordshire to help science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) professionals return to work after a career break.

The programme is the result of a collaboration between STEM Returners and international engineering, services and products company, Nuvia.

With more than six decades of experience, Nuvia works throughout the life cycle of a nuclear facility.

Now, they are shifting their focus to helping STEM professionals return to work after a hiatus by running a returners programme at their site near Harwell and Didcot, as well as in Warrington.

The programme, which will be managed by STEM Returners, will source the candidates and guide them throughout their return to work.

This includes offering them career coaching and mentorship during the 12-week paid placement.

Research from STEM Returners shows 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.

The programmes aim to eliminate these barriers by giving candidates work experience and mentoring during their placement, as well as supporting them to adjust to life back in work.

Engineering and design positions will be made available across civil and structural, electrical, controls and instrument and mechanical disciplines.

Following successful completion of the programme, returners may have the opportunity to become permanent Nuvia employees.

Natalie Desty, director of STEM Returners, said: "We are very proud to be entering this new partnership with Nuvia, to return highly skilled people back into the industry they love.

"There is a well-known skills shortage in the UK engineering industry, but despite a clear need for people, professionals who have had a career break are often overlooked.

"Only by partnering with industry leaders like Nuvia, will we 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."

Paula Quinn, head of talent development and communications at Nuvia UK, added: "We are excited to introduce this dynamic Returners programme, which supports our strategy to attract a diverse and inclusive talent pool to Nuvia and the nuclear sector.

"STEM Returners is more than just reintegrating talented professionals into the workforce; it's about leveraging diverse experiences and perspectives to fuel innovation and growth.

"We are dedicated to removing barriers and offering a smooth transition for skilled individuals to restart their STEM careers, thereby enriching the industry with their unique expertise and fresh insights."

Since it first launched in 2017, STEM Returners has helped more than 500 candidates across the UK get back into the working field.