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Cummins and STEM Returners form new partnership to power people back into the STEM industry

Cummins Inc. has formed a new partnership with STEM Returners to support its RePower programme, which is 6 months, paid and benefitted returnship opportunity.

STEM Returners will use its wealth of experience and established networks to bring returners to the RePower programme which was launched last year and acts as a returnships, allowing candidates to be reintegrated into an inclusive environment upon their return to STEM.

The roles will be based at Cummins sites in Huddersfield, Daventry and Darlington and available to people who have had a career break for two years or more.

STEM Returners, a leading organisation in the UK in returner programmes, will provide returners with additional support including advice, career coaching, and mentoring; ensuring applicants are ready and confident to return to work.

Annual research from STEM Returners (The STEM Returners Index) shows the challenges people who have had career break face, when trying to return – recruitment bias being the main barrier to entry. Sixty-six percent of STEM professionals on a career break say they 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.

Natalie Desty, Director of STEM Returners said: “Over the years, we have seen how hard it can be for people who have had a career break to return to STEM so it is positive to see leading organisations like Cummins launch their own programmes to support this talented pool of people back into the industry.

“We are very proud to be entering this new partnership with Cummins, to support their RePower programme. Only by working together, 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.”

Cummins is internationally known for specialising in diesel and alternative fuel engines and generators, and last year the factory in Darlington celebrated a historic landmark: its 1.5 millionth mid-range engine.

“Expanding our partnership to encourage more people to get involved in the RePower programme is music to my ears! We’re excited to connect with returners and provide them with a great experience in getting acclimated with being back in the professional environment.” says, Aisha Myrick, Cummins RePower Programme Manager.

STEM Returners has recently launched the 2023 STEM Returners Index, an annual survey to understand STEM professionals’ experiences of trying to re-enter the sector after a career break. The STEM Returners Index is open to all STEM professions who have had a gap in their career or who are attempting to return to work or who have recently returned to work and will enable STEM Returners to further understand the barriers people face, track the progress UK STEM industries are making, and shine a light on the change needed to create fair opportunities for all.

Since STEM Returners first launched in 2017, more than 310 STEM Returners candidates have joined programmes across the UK.

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Cummins and STEM Returners form new partnership to power people back into the STEM industry

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1. People who have completed the STEM Returners programme are available for interview upon request. 2. STEM Returners, returns highly qualified and experienced STEM professionals after a career break by working with employers who share the common objective of increasing diversity in STEM and creating a sector where everyone feels valued, supported and included. The STEM Returners project facilitates paid short-term employment placements for professionals returning to work after a career break. Alongside the experience gained from the work placement, the STEM Returners project will also provide support for the candidate in advice, career coaching, networking opportunities and mentoring. All of the candidates going through the programme will also have the opportunity to restart their career in a permanent position at the end of the programme. This project is co-supported by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology and the Women’s Engineering Society. STEM Returners was awarded the Maritime UK Diversity Award in 2020, the Diversity in Engineering Award by Enginuity in March 2021, and Best Returnship Programme by the Women in Tech Employer Awards in May 2022. In September 2021, Natalie Desty (Director) was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Engineering by Southampton Solent University to recognise her work in increasing diversity in STEM. STEM Returners is committed to uphold the Armed Forces Covenant and support the Armed Forces Community. 3. Cummins Inc., a global power technology leader, is a corporation of complementary business segments that design, manufacture, distribute and service a broad portfolio of power solutions. The company’s products range from internal combustion, electric and hybrid integrated power solutions to components including filtration, aftertreatment, turbochargers, fuel systems, controls systems, air handling systems, automated transmissions, electric power generation systems, microgrid controls, batteries, electrolyzers and fuel cell products. Headquartered in Columbus, Indiana (U.S.), since its founding in 1919, Cummins employs approximately 73,600 people committed to powering a more prosperous world through three global corporate responsibility priorities critical to healthy communities: education, environment and equality of opportunity. Cummins serves its customers online, through a network of company-owned and independent distributor locations, and through thousands of dealer locations worldwide and earned about $2.2 billion on sales of $28.1 billion in 2022. Learn more at

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