Reaction Engines launches new jobs programme for engineers who’ve had a career break

December 7, 2022
Reaction Engines launches new jobs programme for engineers who’ve had a career break
Reaction Engines has formed a new partnership with STEM Returners to support engineers returning to work after a career break.

The aerospace manufacturer, based in Oxfordshire, has launched the new scheme at the Culham Science Centre in Abingdon, which is specifically available to engineers who have been on a career break and are looking to return to the industry.

STEM Returners, based in Hampshire, will help source the candidates and support them with mentoring and careers coaching services.

STEM Returners was launched in 2017 by Natalie Desty after she saw how hard it was for people to return to STEM after a career break. They work with companies to facilitate returnships, which allow candidates to be re-integrated into an inclusive environment upon their return to the industry.

Natalie Desty, Director of STEM Returners said: “We are delighted to be launching this new returner scheme with Reaction Engines to support highly skilled people back into the industry they love. There is a known shortage of skills across STEM industries, and we know that people who have had a career break are faced with an uphill task of getting back into the profession.

Only by partnering with industry leaders, like Reaction Engines, will we make vital changes in STEM recruitment practices, helping those who find it challenging to return to the sector and improve diversity and inclusion.”

Lisa Rudzki, Head of HR at Reaction Engines said: “At Reaction Engines we are proud of our open and inclusive culture and are delighted to be embracing a new programme with STEM Returners to attract and welcome new talent and skills. Discovering individuals with vital STEM experience is an important part of our vision towards an even more diverse and engaged workforce across all areas of the business.

We have great opportunities with flexible working options to help achieve the perfect balance between work and home life, and to ensure a smooth transition back to the workplace”

Mike Whitehead, Engineering Director added: “Reaction Engines has been at the forefront of engineering innovation for over 30 years, and we are proud of our people and the creative and inclusive environment that has enabled this success. We are delighted to be working with STEM Returners and welcome their innovative and fresh approach to recruitment. This partnership will further strengthen our engineering team by helping us connect with experienced and diverse talent.”

In STEM Returners’ annual survey – The STEM Returners Index – 72% of STEM professionals on a career break said they are finding the process of attempting to return to work either difficult or very difficult and that nearly half (46%) of participants said they felt bias because of a lack of recent experience.

STEM Returners’ programme aims to eliminate these barriers by giving candidates real work experience and mentoring during their placement, as well as supporting them to seamlessly adjust to life back in work.

Whilst the scheme helps solve the challenge of sourcing talent in sectors that need it, it also has the added benefit of increasing diversity in a host organisation. STEM Returners’ population of experienced professionals who are attempting to return to work are 46% female and 44% from ethnic minority groups, compared to 14% female and 9% from ethnic minority groups working in industry.

Since STEM Returners first launched in 2017, more than 310 STEM Returners candidates have joined programmes across the UK. To view STEM Returners opportunities, visit