Town Planning student, Lorna Heslop has been appointed Chair of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) North East Young Planners' Steering Group. At only 20, she acts as a voice of the younger generation in order to improve employment opportunities for young planners.
Lorna is looking forward to the challenges which this role entails. She's says: \"In my role as chair I wish to maximise the creation of opportunities presented through the group, by organising regular events and meetings. By making the group easily accessible to fellow students and young professionals, I look forward to establishing professional networks which will improve young planners' job prospects and reduce graduate unemployment."
The Royal Town Planning Institute 'is a dynamic organisation leading the way in the creation of places that work now and in the future', which works alongside professional planners. The North East Young Planners' group creates relationships between universities and planners in practise to promote the varied opportunities presented by a career in planning.
Lorna is a second year town planning student studying at Newcastle University. As a student representative for the Regional Activities and Policy Committee (RAPC), Lorna has familiarised herself with the work of the RTPI in the North East. By becoming Chair of the North East Young Planners Steering Group, she has embraced the opportunities available to planners starting out in their careers.
The North East Young Planners Steering group hosts a range of different events throughout the year in order to provide opportunities for young planners to network and increase knowledge through meetings, CPD events and social events. A range of free 'continuing professional development' events have been held at Newcastle University, which inform young planners on current planning issues and specific issues within the region. Further free CPD events have already been organised for 2012. Alongside this there is a range of social events being planned including a summer BBQ and Christmas party.
Young planners are encouraged to volunteer to become members of the steering group. Anyone with an interest within planning is welcomed to bring fresh ideas to the group. With the current economic climate resulting in graduate unemployment and lack of work experience opportunities, young planners are encouraged to volunteer as the group provides an invaluable link to other planning professionals in the North East.