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Tideway targets mums with returnship programme

5 Feb 16 The company building London’s super sewer is looking to tap into the pool of qualified professionals who have been on a career break and have perhaps been struggling to get back in.

While many employers look unfavourably on gaps in the CVs of job applicants, Tideway is specifically targeting returners, including women who have taken time out to raise families, with a programme of paid-for internships.

A number of roles will be created with the internships across both Tideway and its contractors. Successful candidates will start a 12-week full-time programme on 19th April 2016, with additional roles in September 2016.

Tideway was given an independent licence last year to build the £4.2bn Thames Tideway Tunnel, commonly known as the super sewer. Tideway is due to start construction later this year, with completion planned by 2023.

Tideway CEO Andy Mitchell, who moved from Crossrail to the capital’s next big tunnelling job, is said to be commited to creating a more diverse workforce and sees the returnship programme as an obvious way to attract experienced and able workers.

He said: “It is widely recognised that one of the biggest pools of untapped talent is with professionals who have taken a break from their career, and then found it difficult to find work in their area of expertise because of the gap of relevant experience in their CVs.

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“Building on our successful returner programme from last year, the first outside the banking sector, we have expanded our scheme to include our delivery partners Amey, Costain, Ferrovial Agroman and Laing O’Rourke. This, combined with our flexible working policy, provides a very positive pathway for professionals to return to a fulfilling career.”

Rachel Tomkins, 40, from Hampshire, works full-time as a change manager at Tideway having applied for a permanent role after taking part in last year’s Tideway Returner Programme. She said: “I served as a Royal Engineer in the British Army before spending nine years at home raising three boys. I was convinced that with my background, restarting my career once they were all at school, would not be an issue, but when I started looking for roles it was clear that CV gaps are generally not viewed favourably.

“It was so refreshing to find that Tideway were offering a returnship programme where experience gained whilst on a career break was truly valued and appreciated. The support to return to full-time work and balance family life has been fantastic and I hope other companies follow suit when it comes to recruiting in the future.”

Tideway is partnering with the Women Returners organisations, whose co-founder Julianne Miles said: “Tideway offers a very supportive culture for returning professionals. The value of returnship programmes is becoming increasingly evident for companies in all sectors looking to bring in a diverse range of talent. We are delighted that the Tideway Programme has now extended to incorporate several other leading construction companies.”

Applications should be submitted by 26th February. For details of how to apply, see

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