Jobs scheme aims to plug engineering skills gap

Engineering firm PD&MS Group is to launch a new returners' programme to help STEM professionals in Scotland who have had a career break return to the industry.

In partnership with STEM Returners, PD&MS will host the programme at their sites in Aberdeen and Glasgow where roles will include control and instrument designer, piping designer, process engineer and structural designer.

PD&MS is a leading multi-disciplined engineering company offering specialist services to the oil and gas, drilling, production, renewables and marine industries. It is hoped the programme will enable STEM professionals to return to work, improve diversity and inclusion and help fill a skills gap in the engineering sector.

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PD&MS is also offering further returner roles as part of their involvement in Global Underwater Hub’s membership network, which recently announced a STEM Returners programme in partnership with Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB).

Annual research from STEM Returners (The STEM Returners Index) 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. It also shows women trying to return to industry are more likely to experience recruitment bias than men.

STEM Returners’ programmes aim 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. Applicants, with any length of career break, will undertake a fully paid 12-week ‘returnship’ which allows candidates to be reintegrated into an inclusive work environment.

Natalie Desty, Director of STEM Returners said: “We know the engineering sector is facing a significant skills gap, but there is a talented pool of people who could help fill that gap but are often overlooked due to a gap on their CV.

“We are very proud to be entering this new partnership with PD&MS, to return highly skilled people back into the industry they love. Only by partnering with industry leaders like PD&MS 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.”

Mark Davison, Group VP Engineering & Technical Services, PD&MS Group added: “The skills shortage is a huge challenge, across all industries and sectors, and we’re seeing the knock-on impact this has on our engineering roles. We want to ensure we have as diverse a range of people within our engineering teams to enhance our capabilities and skill sets and we recognise that STEM returns represent a large pool of highly skilled personnel that will be a perfect fit into our organisation. Not only that, but we’re incredibly passionate about supporting the industry, and those within it, to help build the future talent that is needed. We’re confident that our collaboration with STEM Returners is going to allow us to continue to build that talented workforce.”

Since STEM Returners first launched in 2017, more than 475 STEM Returners candidates have joined programmes across the UK. To view STEM Returners opportunities, visit