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Frequently asked questions
Please read our FAQs to answer any questions you may have.
What is a Return to Work programme and why are the Shell Group of Companies in the UK (Shell) running it?
We are running our UK Return to Work Programme for 2019/2020 (following the success of the pilot programme last year) to access a wider pool of talent and offer opportunities to people in the communities in which we work; enabling them to return to a professional environment so they can consider if a future in Shell or the wider industry could be right for them and we can explore new ways of attracting talent to our business.
We recognise that one size doesn’t fit all and that people who have had time out of the workplace will need different types of support. We will offer the successful participants the opportunity to access on the job learning, development activities and tailor parts of their programme to their needs i.e. working patterns, self-study modules and how they develop their networks.
Why is the programme available only to people who have taken at least a year out of the workforce?
We recognise that at times it can be challenging for people who have taken a career break to recommence work after a period out and to successfully compete. We also recognise the capabilities and potential of people that have taken a career break may be beneficial in our business.
For these reasons the programme has been designed to offer people the opportunity to reignite their careers with tailored projects and support.
When does the programme start?
The Return to Work programme starts 16th September 2019 and lasts for 6 months until 13th March 2020. There will be a day’s onboarding programme for those joining mid-September 2019.
What can I expect to learn?
You can expect to enhance and develop your skills, knowledge, and experience in a multi-dimensional global energy group of companies whilst delivering real work on real projects that have a bottom-line business impact. Through 1:1 coaching with our external coaching partner you will have the opportunity to reflect on where you want the next step of your career to take you and build your own career development plan to help accelerate your return to work.
How many roles are being offered?
There are 11 programme roles (lasting for 6 months) being offered across our UK businesses in functional areas and locations:
- IT - 80 Strand, London, WC2R 0ZA / Shell Centre, 4 York Road, SE1 7NA
- Exploration - Shell Centre, 4 York Road, SE1 7NA
- Upstream - 1 Altens Farm Road, Nigg, Aberdeen, AB12 3FY
- Contracting & Procurement - 1 Altens Farm Road, Nigg, Aberdeen, AB12 3FY
- Shipping & Maritime – 80 Strand, London, WC2R 0ZA / Shell Centre, 4 York Road, SE1 7NA
Will I be required to travel?
Travel between offices locally may be required from time to time. If we need you to travel beyond your normal location of work, we’d discuss this with you in advance.
How will my performance be assessed?
Before commencing your Return to Work Programme you will have the opportunity to meet with your manager, discuss your project, agree your ways of working, get real clarity on your deliverables and discuss your desired learning objectives. Your performance will be assessed by your manager against the agreed deliverables, as well as the behaviours you exhibit in doing so.
You will have regular check-ins with your manager for coaching and support, as well as a mid-term and end-of-programme discussions to help you in the next step of your career.
Will I be able to apply for permanent roles at Shell during my time on the 6-month programme?
All internal job vacancies are posted on an online internal portal. As you will be engaged as a Contractor via one of our recruitment agencies (and are not an employee of any Shell Group company) for the duration of the programme, you will not have access to the portal as vacancies posted there are intended to be filled by internal Shell employees.
However, you will be able to access information regarding suitable Shell vacancies for the relevant location through your business sponsor/supervisor on request. Your manager, sponsor and buddies may talk to you about roles they see coming up at the end of your programme to the extent any such roles may be available and appropriate for you.
We also encourage you to apply for roles through www.shell.com if the role has been advertised externally.
This will be further outlined on the onset of the programme.
Who can apply for the programme and what are the eligibility criteria for applicants?
To apply for any role in the programme, you will need to have:
- Taken a career break for at least 12 months (from the date of applications opening – 15 April 2019)
- A keen interest in returning to work
- Be able to undertake the role from September 2019 to March 2020
- Demonstrate previous experience in a similar field with the required qualifications
- Provide evidence of right to work in the United Kingdom
- Work for the equivalent of 3 days per week or more
What is a career break?
In order to be eligible for the programme, you must have taken a career break of 12 months or more immediately preceding the date the programme applications opened (15 April 2019). Shell defines a career break as a period during which you have been unemployed and not otherwise engaged to provide paid work/services. In the event you are unsure on this or have any questions, please contact out recruitment partner Inclusivity.
How will Shell determine people have taken a period of 12 months or more off work?
Our recruitment partner, Inclusivity will review CVs submitted to understand when your current career break commenced to determine your eligibility for the programme. We encourage you to clearly indicate when your career break started.
The programme is aimed at experienced professionals who are currently on an extended career break, of 12 months or more, for any reason and seeking to return to the workplace.
How can I apply for the programme?
You can apply for the programme by providing an up to date CV and covering letter using the following link. All applications must be submitted to our recruitment partner Inclusivity at the following link. Any submissions received after 20th May will not be considered.
What happens after I apply?
We will review all applications and be in touch with those whose applications best align with the requirements of the projects and roles available to progress to first stage phone interview. The second stage will be an interview, in person if possible, with the hiring manager.
By when will I know if I have a place on the programme?
We aim to communicate the outcome to successful candidates during the beginning of July.
Will I be able to claim interview travel expenses or relocation expenses?
We will not cover any interview travel expenses or relocation expenses during the programme application and commencement.
Who are Inclusivity and how do they support?
Inclusivity are specialists in Returnships and Returner opportunities and support in educating and upskilling both the partner organisation and Returner candidates, ensuring a ‘human’ touch is not lost during the process.
On the Shell programme, Inclusivity support on recruitment, onboarding and programme coaching.
Find more information at Inclusivity.
What support will I receive?
All participants in the programme will receive:
- Ability to request flexible work patterns either on a formal or informal basis during the programme
- Career coaching from our external coaching experts
- A buddy to help navigate your way in Shell
- Support from a dedicated programme manager
- Access to Shell discounts with Bright Horizons
In addition to the above you will be able to participate in and join events run by our UK networks including our Asian, African & Caribbean, Disability, Experience Hire, Gender Balance, Graduate, Future Energies, Ibero-America, Parenting and our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender networks.
What kind of flexible work patterns will be available?
All roles in the programme are a minimum of an equivalent of three (3) days a week or more from the office; however, we are open to discussing the needs of individuals to find arrangements that work for all parties. This could be staggering start or end times, working from home from time to time, working various patterns over the six-month programme or other means of working flexibly either formally or informally.
Candidates are encouraged to request flexibility if this would be of interest. If you would like to work flexibly, we recommend you speak with our recruitment partner to discuss your needs and how best this could potentially be accommodated.
What is and how can I use Bright Horizons?
All individuals participating in the Return to Work programme will be given access to some of the services provided by Bright Horizons during your time on the Programme. Bright Horizons will provide access to specialist support from an expert who can discuss your individual care needs, offer advice, and find care for your family circumstances, be that for care of an elderly relative or child.
You will also receive exclusive discounts against child and elder care service, as well as preferred access and waived registration fees at Bright Horizons nurseries.
Terms & Conditions
Are former Shell Employees able to apply?
Individuals who resigned from Shell employment for personal or professional reasons will be able to apply for the programme in line with the Shell rehiring policy. In the event you are unsure please contact out recruitment partner Inclusivity.
On what terms will I be working for Shell?
All participants in the programme will be engaged as Contractors for the duration of the programme via one of our recruitment agencies and rewarded in line with our contractor management standards. Payments to participants for work performed will be paid by the agency. Participants will not be employed by any Shell Group Company.
Shell will pay an agreed contractor day rate to the agency engaging the participant to compensate for work provided, aligned with the market rate for the role they will be performing. These day rates will include provision for leave, pension and benefits in line with the applicable legislation.
I have holiday booked during the programme, can I still apply?
Yes, you can still apply. If you have any holiday pre-booked please inform our partner, Inclusivity, on application so they can make a note of this. This will not impact your application; rather allow the line manager to look at how best to structure your work.
Over the six months am I allowed to take holidays?
Yes. We encourage all staff to take regular breaks. You will be requested to give as much notice as possible to your manager in advance of any holiday.