Pupils from St Michaels College, Enniskillen learnt about planning when they had a visit from a ‘Future Planner’ ambassador from the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) on Tuesday 15th April. The students studying for their GCSEs and A levels found out about the challenges planners seek to address and the career opportunities available in the profession.
Michael Martin, an RTPI ambassador, spoke to students about the impact of planning on their everyday lives and explained how planners help investigate and assess the impacts controversial forms of energy production such as fracking can have on a rural landscape. The ambassador also talked about the skill sets required by planners, potential routes to study planning at university and the work he does as an Urban Designer.
Michael Martin said: “To unveil the initiative in the west of Northern Ireland and advertise the profession at the school where I decided I would pursue a planning career felt great. Despite an early start the pupils were bright and engaged, I even had a couple of students express further interest and information afterward which really was fantastic. Deliberations have already begun for a follow up visit next year! All in all a successful launch to what will be the first of a number of RTPI ambassador visits to schools in Enniskillen.”
Future Planners is a project launched by the RTPI to mark its centenary year. Over 100 ambassadors have been recruited to visit schools up and down the country to raise awareness and foster an interest in planning with students aged 11 to 18. The project aims to get young people thinking about the place where they live and the challenges communities face in the future.
As part of the centenary project the RTPI has also produced a short film ‘How do we plan our world’ explaining about the importance of planning to our everyday lives and the wider environment. The film can be viewed here.
With 23,000 members’ worldwide working in the public, private, charitable and education sectors, the RTPI is the largest professional institute for planners in Europe. As well as promoting spatial planning, the RTPI develops and shapes policy affecting the built and natural environment, works to raise professional standards and supports members through continuous education, training and development.
The RTPI’s President Cath Ranson said "The RTPI Future Planners project offers an exciting and important opportunity to inspire a younger generation and get young people thinking about their environment.”