ICE’s Civils Comeback Scheme welcomes Tideway returners programme

Talented professionals who have taken a voluntary career break are being encouraged back in to the work-force by Tideway, the organisation delivering the Thames Tideway Tunnel.

Tideway employee Rachel Tomkins became a fulltime employee following her participation in a previous returners programme.
Tideway employee Rachel Tomkins became a fulltime employee following her participation in a previous returners programme.

Paid-for internships requiring skills from finance to construction are on offer with the company and its delivery partners. Tideway was given an independent licence last year to build the Thames Tideway Tunnel, commonly known as the ‘super sewer’.

Tideway are just one of a number of engineering companies who are partnering with ICE in order to help guide individuals back into the profession as part of the Civils Comeback Scheme.

Tideway CEO Andy Mitchell, who brought his expertise from Crossrail to the city’s next big tunnelling job, has already expressed his commitment to creating a more diverse workforce and sees the returnship programme as an obvious way to attract experienced and talented individuals.

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.

“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.”

Rachel Tomkins

Tideway is again partnering with Women Returners, the UK experts in enabling professionals to return to work after an extended career break. Julianne Miles, Co-Founder of Women Returners said: “The 2015 Tideway Returner Programme was a great success, with a large proportion of the returners taken on into ongoing roles with the organisation.

“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.”

ICE’s Nathan Baker said he was delighted that as a Civils Comeback Scheme partner, Tideway had recognised the value that those returning to the industry after a break could bring:

“I’m delighted that Tideway and their delivery partners have shown their commitment to creating a more diverse workforce by offering paid-for internships to those returning to the workforce. Civil Engineers who have taken an extended break from the industry can find it difficult to return due to a gap in their CV’s, meaning that without this type of scheme, this vast pool of talent could go to waste.

ICE’s Civils Comeback Scheme can help those interested in resuming their career to refresh their knowledge and skills, from learning more about how the industry has evolved, to accessing work placements and dedicated careers support programmes.”


ICE's Civils Comback scheme

As part of ICE's Civils Comeback scheme, which aims to encourage and help people back into a career in civil engineering, we are working to highlight opportunities for placement schemes with a range of employers.

The ICE Benevolent Fund is also providing help and support to get you back to work through its 'back to work' coaching service.

Find out more about the Civils Comeback scheme