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Returner Programme

Return to your career with confidence

Return to your career with confidence

AtkinsRéalis is a world-leading design, engineering and project management organization. We connect people, data and technology, transforming the world's energy, places and spaces. Our Returners Programme is designed to support professionals who have taken an extended career break of 12 months or more and are ready to return to a permanent role. 

What is the Returners Programme?

We offer a six-month program to help you rekindle your career. As an AtkinsRéalis Returner, you'll have access to diverse opportunities in roles such as Civil Engineers, Project Managers, and more. We provide comprehensive training, coaching, and flexible working options to support your transition back into employment, with many returners successfully securing permanent roles with us. Start with a 30-hour work week and transition smoothly into a work pattern that suits your lifestyle.

Diversity is our greatest strength

We’re committed to promoting Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (ED&I) as a fundamental part of our culture. By offering tailored support, we aim to create a welcoming and inclusive workplace for you to thrive in your career. Your voice matters, and together, we’ll make a tangible difference every day. 

Our flexible working culture

Who doesn't need a friendly, dynamic work environment that supports your life beyond the office? Our unwavering support for flexible and remote working policies reflects our commitment to being an employer of choice. At AtkinsRéalis, we break down the outdated stigma around flexible work arrangements, allowing you to shape your career on your terms. It's a culture built on trust, mutual commitment, and the belief that successful careers and fulfilling personal lives can thrive side-by-side.  Discover how we support your work-life balance.

Why choose our returners programme

Start with a 30-hour work week and transition smoothly into a work pattern that suits your lifestyle.

We offer market-competitive salaries and a Total Reward package that can be tailored to your lifestyle. And we have regular reviews and recognition through our peer-to-peer #WOW program for a culture of appreciation.

Enjoy the freedom to purchase up to 15 extra holiday days, reflecting our commitment to helping you achieve a work-life balance.

 Tailor your benefits package to your needs, from eco-friendly options like salary sacrifice electric vehicles to essential coverage for life's key moments, such as family planning and healthcare, through our Digital GP service.


 Learn in our diverse and inclusive global workplace with colleagues ready to help you succeed.

 Explore various markets that interest you – from government to defence and education to transportation. 

Keep your skills sharp with our in-house training and professional initiatives. We also accelerate your professional development through learning opportunities, assignment options and mentorship. 

We’ll support you as well as your priorities. We are committed to creating an environment where employees can thrive, flourish, and achieve their full potential. Our holistic approach to employee wellbeing revolves around a comprehensive framework comprising five essential pillars: physical, emotional, workplace, financial and social & community.


   With a vision to see more women in leadership, we're investing in female employees at all career stages. Over the last 10 years, programmes like INSPIRE have helped over 1,000 women advance their careers with us. Read more about Women in AtkinsRéalis.

 Take your career where you want with our global cross-sector experience, digital mastery and broad engineering heritage.

Meet our returners 

My first three months back in the industry were pretty challenging. I had to get back up to speed technically and learn new software. However, everyone was willing to pitch in and help. I was paired up with a great buddy in Ground Engineering, helping me settle in, navigate internal processes and meet colleagues.

As part of this Programme, I took part in training, including self-esteem and career conversations. I also did Atkins' Women's Development Programme, which I found very useful. At the moment, I'm doing a series of training modules on managing people. I get a lot of on-the-job support from colleagues and I hope they feel I support them too.

Why apply to our Returners Programme?

I would encourage anyone to return to the workplace. It has been a really rewarding, mind-stretching and confidence-boosting experience. Also, be prepared for the settling period to be challenging, but stick with it, as the rewards will be worth it.

Since joining Atkins, I've been involved with the EWR2 rail project as part of the Design Site Support Team supporting the Delivery Team. This has included permanent works design, temporary works design and site engagement.

Continuous development is high on the agenda here. We get regular notices regarding in-house and professional institution training initiatives that we can attend. My line manager has also gone out of his way to provide me with appropriate work opportunities and experiences. In turn, my own skills and expertise are welcomed to the table.

Why apply for our returners programme?

Don't underestimate the value that your knowledge, skills and experience can bring to the workplace. Having the right attitude is what counts most.

I’ve met so many fantastic and highly skilled professionals across the organization. Working in collaborative teams has allowed me to refresh my business communication skills and gain technical skills in environmental asset management and business change management.

My line manager and team leads have been fantastic in helping me find the right opportunities to develop. Even though my two current roles at Atkins are very different from my previous career experiences, my background serves me well.

Why apply for our returners programme?

I wanted to work at Atkins because of the technical excellence and work-life flexibility. It’s helped me develop my skills and strengths with flexibility to grow in the direction I want my career to go.

Before my career break, I worked as a software developer. I designed real-time multithreaded systems, connected text messaging for major UK telecom companies and worked as a Systems Architect, Project Manager, Line Manager, and workshop facilitator for user interface and use case design. But when my family needed me, I stepped back from my career.

Years later, I decided to return, and that's when I discovered the AtkinsRéalis Returners Programme. My diverse and inclusive team's support erased concerns about rusty skills and adjusting to new tech. I've grown, faced challenges, and enjoyed work/life balance thanks to flexible working. This Returners Programme is an opportunity worth going for – a chance to grow and succeed, regardless of past challenges.

Why apply to our returners programme? The Returners Programme immediately removed the worry about my CV being ignored. It's designed for people just like you. Don't let a career gap discourage you from exploring what AtkinsRéalis offers.

Take the next step

Our Returners Programme isn’t currently open for applications, but you can join our Talent Community to stay connected and engaged with us at AtkinsRéalis.

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