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Scheme to offer internships to engineers after a career break could benefit rail industry

A new scheme to offer internships to civil engineers coming back to work in the industry after a career break could help remedy some of the rail industry’s staffing shortage and gender discrimination problems.

The Civil Comebacks programme has been launched by the Institute of Chartered Engineers in partnership with Amey, who are working on major railway projects including the Ordsall Chord, so it could directly benefit railway engineers.

The scheme offers 12-week paid internships, mentoring and training sessions for civil engineers who have taken a career break and want to get back into engineering, particularly women engineers who have taken time off to raise children.

Seán Harris, ICE director of membership, said: “It will come as no surprise to hear that we need more engineers in both our offices and on site. Industry cannot rely only on new graduates and apprentices to fill the gap; we will also need qualified engineers who have left the industry – as well as those who have the skills, experience and qualifications, to pick up where they left off.

“Returning to work after a career break can be daunting, so we have designed internships to help make up for lost time, as well as guiding individuals back into a professional working environment. To assist our former colleagues return to engineering, the internships will help build confidence and smooth their transition back into engineering teams.”

Civil Comebacks is being promoted by a social media campaign, #MyFriendsAnEngineer.

The railway industry urgently needs to address its shortfall in qualified staff to be able to deliver ambitious new programmes such as HS2 and Crossrail.

It also needs a greater diversity of recruitment, including more women and BME (black and minority ethnic) engineers, to ensure new ideas and a wide range of talent.

It’s always welcome to see any professional industry acknowledging that talented women are missing on the chance to get ahead because they are still expected or want to be primary caregivers for their children, but the professional world refuses to accommodate working mothers.

The deadline for applying for Civil Comebacks is 29 April. To find out more, click here.


Paul   22/04/2016 at 22:00

Wonderful initiative, but why not all engineers not just civil. I know of electrical and mechanical engineers who would do well under this programme - after all the skills gap covers all disciplines of engineering.

Roy   25/04/2016 at 13:19

if you could e-mail some vids of railway engines fell free to send them through thanks bye-for now

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