The drive to encourage more engineers in Dorset to return to work after career breaks has been given a major boost.

Partnering with STEM Returners, Atlas Elektronik based at Winfrith and Babcock International, which has sites in Dorset, are offering a trailblazing 13-week programme aimed at giving qualified engineers a chance to show that taking extended time away from work is not a barrier to getting a job in 2018.

It is on offer to men and women who have more than a year’s career break from science, technology or engineering (STEM) – and is also open to candidates who have the skills and experience to transfer their technical career.

The available jobs are varied and include Mechanical Design, Electrical Design, Systems Design, Signal Processing, Model Development, Product Quality and Software Engineering amongst others. Candidates may have a background in any industry as full training will be given as part of the programme.

Regional job recruitment experts are hoping the special programme will prove a breakthrough moment to plug a worrying regional “skills gap” in the science, technology, engineering and manufacturing sectors.

STEM Returners is hoping the initiative, launched in conjunction with the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST) and the Women’s Engineering Society (WES), will be the key to persuading engineers to return to work.

Candidates signing up to these “STEM Returners” programmes will join a paid 13-week structured return to work programme, including soft skills training, technical training and on the job experience, as well as coaching and mentoring support.

At the end of 13 weeks, both companies will make permanent job offers to those returners who show they have what it takes to work for these key employers.

Natalie Desty, Workforce Development at IMarEST said: “We are so excited to be running this programme in partnership with Babcock and Atlas Elektronik.

"We know that there are lots of talented and experienced candidates who have taken a career break, and have faced a block to returning to industry. This programme lifts that block to return to a meaningful and valuable career."

Those wanting to take up the offer have until Friday, February 24 to apply at