STV launch new jobs scheme to help engineers get back to work after a career break

STV has formed a new innovative collaboration with STEM Returners to attract returning STEM talent to the broadcast industry. 

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STV has formed a new innovative collaboration with STEM Returners to attract returning STEM talent to the broadcast industry. 

STV will offer a STEM Returners programme at their studios in Glasgow where candidates will be part of a team that delivers free and accessible TV and digital platforms: STV, which reaches over 3 million Scots each month; and STV Player, the fastest growing Broadcaster Video On Demand (BVOD) platform in the UK. 

Roles will include Front end developer, Back-end developer, QA tester and Broadcast Operations Engineer or Graduate Engineer. 

STEM Returners, based in Hampshire, will source candidates for the 12-week programme, which aims to return or transfer experienced engineers back into industry following a career break. The fully paid placements act as a ‘returnship’, allowing candidates to be re-integrated into an inclusive environment upon their return to STEM.

Suzanne Burns, HR & Communications Director, STV said: “At STV our culture is based on the principal that everyone can make a difference.” 

“This vital scheme, in partnership with STEM Returners, will not only be advantageous for the talented engineers who will be welcomed back into the workforce, but also for STV, as we’ll benefit enormously from the skills, passion and dynamism that they’ll bring to our organisation.” 

“It’s never been more important for employers to eliminate barriers and create inclusive cultures, and we’re thrilled to be supporting this project as part of our wider commitment to positive change.”

The scheme’s launch coincides with the results of STEM Returners’ annual survey, which asked a range of questions to more than 1,000 STEM professionals on a career break to understand their experiences of trying to gain employment. 

The STEM Returners Index 2022 showed that bias in the recruitment process prevents engineers from returning to employment after a career break.

Nearly a third (29%) of women said they feel they have personally experienced bias in recruitment processes due to their gender compared to 7% of men. Despite 39% of females wanting to return to work due to children now being of school age (vs 8% of males), 40% of females still feel childcare responsibilities are a barrier to returning to employment due to lack of flexibility offered by employers.

In the survey, men (46%) were more likely to be victim of bias because of their age compared to women (38%). Bias also appears to become more prevalent with age, with more than half of over 55’s saying they have experienced personal bias, compared to as low as 23% in younger age groups, according to the survey.

The Index also asked returners about the impact of Covid on their experience. More than (34%) said the pandemic made it more difficult for them to get back to work than it would have been previously.

For many people, Covid was the catalyst for a career break they might not have taken otherwise. 36% said Covid was a factor in their decision to take a career break. According to the results, redundancy was also given as the reason for career breaks (20% in 2022 vs 17% in 2021). 

Natalie Desty, Director of STEM Returners said: “We are very proud to be entering this new partnership with STV, to return highly skilled people back into the industry they love. Only by partnering with industry leaders like STV, 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.”

Natalie Desty, Director of STEM Returners, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with STV to return highly skilled people back into the industry they love and we are very proud to launch this new programme at the same time as we release the results of our annual survey.”

“More than 65% of STEM professionals on a career break 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 – this has got to change.”

“We need to do more to challenge unconscious bias, which prevents so many highly skilled and talented people from returning to work.”

“Industry leaders need to do more to improve diversity and inclusion across the industry, just like STV are doing.  Only by working together to create a supportive and inclusive environment where returners can really thrive, will we deal with the well-known skills shortage in the UK engineering industry.”

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

Whilst the scheme helps solve the problem 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.

Successful candidates may be offered full-time positions at STV upon the completion of their 12-week placement. Since STEM Returners launched in 2017, more than 260 candidates have joined programmes across the UK. To view STEM Returners vacancies, visit


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