New programme to help engineers return to work after a career break

Safran Seats has launched a second programme to help engineers return to work after a career break following the success of a pilot scheme last year.

Safran Seats is a leading designer of products for pilots and commercial air crews, as well as the needs of helicopters, with pilot and passenger seating. The programme is run in partnership with return-to-work specialists STEM Returners, who work with engineering’s biggest firms to improve recruitment practices within the industry.

Roles will include In-Service Solution Design Engineer, Project Engineers and Programme Quality Engineer, and be based at the Safran Seats offices near Newport and Cardiff.

Annual research from STEM Returners (The STEM Returners Index) has revealed the challenges people face when trying to return to work. Recruitment bias is shown to be the main barrier to entry. The STEM Returners programme acts as a ‘returnship’, transferring experienced engineers back into industry following a career break, allowing them to be re-integrated into an inclusive environment.

STEM Returners will source the candidates and offer them mentoring throughout the recruitment process.

Natalie Desty, director of STEM Returners, said: “We have enjoyed working with Safran Seats over the past year and been able to support people back into their chosen profession after a career break, so I am delighted to be able to continue that partnership with this new programme.

“We know that people on a career break face an uphill battle when trying to return. And we know that the engineering industry faces a significant skills shortage. Only by working together, can we improve recruitment practices and enable skilled returners back to work.”

Sarah Curtis, VP Human Resources, Safran Seats said: “Safran Seats has seen success with a number of returners in the first programme and we are looking forward to welcoming more highly skilled people back into industry following a career break. The programme not only allows us to recruit the skills we need in a different way, but it supports our inclusion objectives, such as increasing gender balance and different perspectives within our workforce.

“We are looking forward to once again partnering with STEM Returners to deliver a programme that helps people succeed in getting back into STEM related roles, and provides us with the talent we need during a period of significant business growth.”

Since STEM Returners first launched in 2017, more than 400 STEM Returners candidates have joined programmes across the UK. To view STEM Returners opportunities, visit