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Employers developing town planning degree apprenticeship

30 January 2017

The RTPI has submitted a proposal to Government on behalf of a number of employers to develop a Town Planner Degree Apprenticeship. 

New pathways into the profession

The RTPI has been considering opportunities to introduce new pathways into the profession and ensure a healthy pipeline of town planners. Taking advantage of the Government’s Trailblazer Degree Apprenticeships scheme - an innovative model bringing together the best of higher and vocational education – the Institute gathered interested employers including local government, private consultancies and multi-disciplinary firms last December, all of whom confirmed the need for a degree apprenticeship for town planning.

If approved, employers and universities may start to train the first apprentices from as early as Spring 2018.

Currently, the vast majority of planners enter the profession after graduating from RTPI-accredited undergraduate or postgraduate planning degrees.

Combining academic education and work skills

Degree apprenticeships combining academic education with vocational training will equip future employees with vital employment skills as well as a degree. School leavers will be able to earn a wage from an employer while being sponsored to complete a full bachelor’s or master’s degree without paying fees. Existing employees with no planning qualifications can also apply. The cost of course fees is shared between Government and the employer.

Andrew Close, RTPI Head of Careers, Education & Professional, said: “Many employers of planners have expressed a strong interest in alternative, workplace routes to becoming town planners. It is also timely in light of the Government ambition to create 3 million new apprentices by 2020 and the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy.

“The proposal will be designed by employers to ensure that graduates gain the practical skills and academic training to succeed in the workplace. We hope more talented young people will be attracted to embark on a town planning career through this pathway.”

Do you think this is a good idea?

The proposal will be subject to Government approval. Those interested whether as employers or apprentices can take part in a Government online survey to give feedback by 5 February 2017.