Randox unveils returners programme to bring more talented professionals back into the workplace
Global diagnostics manufacturer Randox has launched an initiative to help bring more talented women and men back into the workforce.
Randox Returners has been developed to support professionals who have had a career break for three years or more. The six-month paid scheme gives people the chance to transition back into a working environment without the pressure of taking on a permanent role. Returners will be given the opportunity to work on real-time projects, upgrade their skills and increase their confidence.
Successful candidates will embark on a six-month programme, where they will go through a comprehensive week-long induction and be assigned a personal mentor. As well as the chance of flexible working where possible, there is also the opportunity for the position to become permanent at the end of the scheme.
Linda Magee, Global Head of HR at Randox, said:
“With a returner scheme like this, everyone benefits. In order for us to continually develop and innovate, we need to build teams with ambitious, skilled and dedicated people; and we know there are talented people outside the workforce who want to come back. STEM industries in particular lose highly skilled women, and when you consider this is then combined with an under-representation of women to begin with, it’s clear that action is needed.
“Traditional recruitment methods can be a barrier, with misinformed perceptions about career breaks. We want to challenge this, because we know people can gain new, valuable skills during time away from traditional work. We hope that by offering this programme we’ll appeal to these motivated and experienced people.
“We also want to make sure that once they’ve taken that first step, the experience of being back in work is a positive one. That’s why we’ll provide an extended induction, select a mentor and offer opportunities to improve people’s skills and boost their confidence. It matters to us that our teams succeed, because we depend on them.”
Randox Financial Accountant Michelle Bradley returned to work after a ten-year break to bring up her children.
“Coming back to work after being away for so long was really daunting: the first job I applied for was a much lesser role than ones I had done previously. What impressed me about Randox initially was that they didn’t put me in that role, because there was a role for a more experienced person coming up. When I interviewed for that a month later, I was delighted to get it.
“It was an enormous help to have a mentor, even though it wasn’t an official role then. Bob was very friendly and supportive as I learned a new accounting programme, and that meant my confidence grew quickly. When I needed help to juggle family responsibilities I found Randox understood that, and I’ve now been here over three years.”
Maureen O’Reilly, NI Chamber of Commerce Economist said:
“We are very pleased to welcome the Randox Returners initiative. It is great to see such a positive and practical initiative from the private sector and particularly one focused on encouraging more highly-skilled people back into the workforce.
“I can’t stress how critical this is for an economy like Northern Ireland. We have the highest economic inactivity rate across the UK regions – around 1 in 4 people who could work in Northern Ireland don’t, around 27% in NI compared to around 18% in the south of England.
“Businesses here are currently facing a skills shortage when recruiting for all types of positions, particularly at the senior end of the scale. A CV gap shouldn’t mean the end of the career. Employers are now having to be more flexible, and should recognise that returners can contribute significantly to society and the economy.”
For further information on the Randox Returners programme please visit www.randox.com/randox-returners
Alternatively you can contact Randox PR on 028 9442 2413 or email RandoxPR@randox.com
Over 50 students from Northern Ireland are gearing up to take part in the first annual ‘STEM Challenge’ hosted at the Randox Science Park. The event, held on International Women in Engineering Day, will round off a week in which the global diagnostics company will unveil a number of initiatives to celebrate and promote women in STEM.
The ‘STEM Challenge’ is aimed at tackling the gender divide and skills gap in the science, technology, engineering and maths industry. On average in the UK women make up just 9% of the engineering workforce. Though Randox is bucking the trend with almost 16% of female engineers, it is still keen to challenge itself to encourage more women to view it as a viable career option.
The week kicks off with the launch of a returnership scheme which is being supported by the NI Chamber of Commerce. This was inspired by the experiences of staff members who returned to work after a career break, and meets a growing demand for a modern approach to recruitment. It will challenge society’s misconceptions surrounding career breaks and support both men and women in restarting their careers. As well as supporting individuals, a UK Government report found that increasing the number of women in work by just five per cent could create £750m extra in tax revenue.
Tackling the gender divide from the opposite end of the career ladder will be the focus at the end of the week. Pupils in Years 10 and 11 from the Belfast Model School for Girls and Victoria College will join R&D scientists and engineers at the new state-of-the-art Randox Science Park for a day of interactive sessions and talks to coincide with International Women in Engineering Day, 23rd June.
Welcoming the students and giving the first talk will be the renowned Máire O’Neill. The Professor of Information Security at Queen’s University Belfast and one-time British Female Inventor of the Year is an inspiring role model and passionate advocate for promoting STEM careers to girls.
The company is also hosting an evening to celebrating local role models in its flagship Randox Health clinic in Holywood. Guests will hear from Dorcas Crawford, senior partner at Edwards & Co., and Johann Muldoon, recently named Best Female Architect in Europe. Both women are recognised for their commitment to equality across industry and their own personal achievements in their fields.
Linda Magee, Global Head of HR for Randox said:
“This promises to be a tremendous week but more than that, it has the potential to have long-lasting benefits. We are pleased to be supported by so many inspiring women as well as the NI Chamber of Commerce.
“Randox is an important employer in the UK and also in Donegal. With our expansion plans comes a need to recruit the very best and brightest people. We hope that our schemes and initiatives will engage young people as well as those who are thinking about returning to work.”
For further information contact Randox PR on 028 9445 1016 or email RandoxPR@randox.com