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If you have STEM skills and want to restart your career after a break, our STEM returners programme could be for you.

SSEN Distribution, SSEN Transmission and SSE Renewables have teamed up with STEM Returners to develop a programme designed to support those who’ve taken a career break or are looking to return to the sector.

What is it?

It’s a paid 12-week programme which is aimed specifically at those wishing to go back to engineering mid-career after a break of any length. The programme will be based in various SSE locations across the UK and Ireland.

What will you gain?

All returners who take part will have the opportunity to gain a full-time position with SSE making this a genuine opportunity to restart careers locally.


Applications for our 2021 programme are now closed, details on our 2022 programme will be released shortly.

"This scheme will help us support people already skilled in STEM industries, back into work where they are very much needed. In a difficult jobs market, the energy sector is providing some much-needed good news for long-term career prospects in all areas across the UK and Ireland."

John Stewart, Director of HR




Hear from some of our recent STEM Returners


Amanda worked as a Business Strategy Analyst in Oil and Gas prior to her four year career break. She took time out from her career after the birth of her second child.

"I had always hoped we’d be in a position where I could take some time out when the children were young and I had stopped enjoying Oil and Gas as, fundamentally, it didn’t fit in with my values, so it seemed a good opportunity to take a break when we’d finished growing our family. After four years out, I considered a range of things, from Maths teaching to re-training to be a counsellor, but, ultimately, I knew I wanted to get into clean energy in an analytical role, marrying both my personal and professional interests.

I had been casually looking at what was available, thinking that I wouldn’t be able to find anything as I’d be competing with professionals that hadn’t taken career breaks. Schemes like the SSE returners hadn’t been on my radar and I had expected that I’d need to take a few years in any job just to get workplace experience again before moving to a company I truly wanted to work for.

I was incredibly nervous at the interview stage as it had been nine years since my last one.  When I found out I’d been successful I was in shock, I hadn’t expected to be selected; when I initially applied I had assumed that an updated CV would be the result of the process for me.

I’m now working in the RIIO Planning and Performance team in SSE Transmission as a Commercial Analyst.  I am very much enjoying the role as it exposes me to a wide variety of people, meaning my network has grown quickly.

SSE was very supportive of my request for part-time work, something that I had expressed a desire for at the outset of the process.  I feel like SSE is a pragmatic and understanding company and will do its best to allow people to work in a way that fits in with their needs, this ethos was certainly a draw for me.

The STEM Returners journey I have been on has been amazing, I honestly couldn’t have asked for a more fulfilling return to work.  The process was exactly what I was looking for as a vessel for getting back into my career but I didn’t think anything like this existed.  I would absolutely recommend the programme to anyone looking to find their way back into the industry after a career break."



Prior to Claudia’s career break, she worked as an engineer in Sweden within the marine industry.

"I choose to take a career break because I wanted to change industry and the pandemic struck just as I had left my previous job. Although I had not consciously chosen to have a break, I am very glad I had one! It helped me put things into perspective and I took this opportunity to explore what I really wanted from a career and life

My break certainly improved my adaptability, as I’m sure it has for many of us in the last year! But more importantly, I learned to appreciate how good it is to make smaller steps towards a goal.

In terms of the interview process, interviews can always be somewhat daunting, but it makes it so much easier when you are genuinely excited about the role and the company. I also take the approach of giving it my 100% and hope this comes across at the time. The process itself was smooth and I was kept up to date at all times.

When I found out I’d been successful I was delighted! I have always wanted to work in the Low carbon/Renewable industry and SSE is a front runner on this, so I am very pleased to have joined and I now work as an Assistant Engineer in the Project Engineering team within SSE Transmission. My role is really varied which I am enjoying! I want to develop my engineering knowledge and contribute towards projects which make a difference."



Ruth worked for 30 years in quality assurance and business assurance management prior to her career break.

"At the start of the covid pandemic, the contract I had been working on came to an end and, in all truth, I was ok with that, in fact, I was looking forward to some time out but …. there is only so many books to read, so much daytime TV to watch, so many walks the dogs can endure and so many household chores one can take. The truth is I missed working.

I started looking at the job market.  Jobs weren’t exactly abundant during the early part of the pandemic, and I soon realised not only was there a shortage of jobs, but I was on the wrong side of 50, female and had been out of work for a period!  I did however have years of experience and a good skill set.

I joined LinkedIn.  One day I was contacted by a recruiter – STEM Returners - regarding the role of Business Assurance Manager at SSE Thermal, it sounded great so where was the catch? The role was in Perth, Glasgow, or Dublin, most definitely not within my commutable range – I live in Aberdeen.  I said thank you but I cannot put myself forward for application due to my location and thought that was that.  A couple of weeks past and STEM Returners contacted me again and said SSE would consider working from home! Great news, send my application, please!!

I’m delighted I was offered the role and even more delighted to be working for a diverse and inclusive company that could see that age, location, or current employment status, was not an obstacle and who could appreciate the experience and skill set I could bring to the business and, moreover, were open to employing from out with the immediate industry.

I’m enjoying working from home and the quiet that brings to my concentration (I’m more productive than I’ve ever been), the absence of early morning commuting and the flexibility.  I’m so impressed and grateful to STEM Returns for their open-mindedness in realising skillsets are assets for life, and to Thermal for choosing to be that inclusive company that can also see the benefit in recruiting from a diverse pool."


How do I apply? 

View All Opportunities Here




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