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New bilingual career materials promote planning to young people in Wales: When I grow up I want to be a Planner

27 November 2008

The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Cymru, the professional body for one thousand planners in Wales, will tomorrow launch its first nationwide campaign to promote planning as a career to young people. The new initiative, backed by the Welsh Assembly, is a response to recent evidence which suggests there is a national shortage of qualified planners across Wales and the UK. A demographic time bomb is also ticking with 40 percent of Welsh planners over the age of 50 years old.

The bilingual career materials, developed by RTPI Cymru, explains to young people the increasing role planning plays in everyday life from building new homes, protecting open spaces, tackling climate change and encouraging green energy sources. The initiative is targeted at two age groups: 9 – 11 year olds and 14 – 18 year olds.

Roisin Willmott, National Director of RTPI Cymru, said:

\"Wales needs more qualified planners to shape the places we live, preserve our environment, and meet the challenges of climate change. RTPI Cymru's bilingual career materials are a positive step towards raising the profile of planning as a career in Wales and the general understanding of the planning process.\"

Jane Davidson, Welsh Assembly Government Minister for the Environment, Sustainability and Housing said:

\"Under the new Welsh planning framework we need to increase planning capacity so we can deliver positive places for people to live. First rate planning education and career guidance is necessary to boost the number of young people considering planning as a career. The Welsh Assembly Government welcomes the RTPI Cymru's bilingual career materials initiative as a means to achieving this goal.\"

A careers booklet, 'Introducing you to Careers in Planning' will help 14 – 18 year olds understand the extraordinarily different roles planners perform to see if a career in planning is right for them, from planning policy and strategy to enforcement. This will be supplemented by a range of on-line materials giving fuller profiles of the individual planners featured in the booklet.

For 9 – 11 year olds, an A4 information sheet entitled 'What is Planning?' has been produced, accompanied by an in-class worksheet and Teachers' Notes. These materials have been written in line with the National Curriculum (geography) for Key Stage 1 and 2 pupils.

The formal launch of the new careers materials will take place at the Cardiff Bay Environment Centre on Friday 28th November, with teachers and pupils from Trelai Primary School, Cardiff joining Jane Davidson, Councillor Nigel Howells from Cardiff County Council and RTPI President Janet O'Neill.

RTPI Cymru is grateful for funding support from the Welsh Assembly Government and Construction Skills Wales to produce the bilingual career materials.

The bilingual materials, printed in English and Welsh, are available electronically through RTPI Cymru's website, from Thursday 27th November. To encourage the materials to be used in schools, RTPI Cymru through the Assembly Government's Work Based Learning Pathways, will work with Sector Skills Councils – Asset Skills Wales and Construction Skills Wales - to train ambassadors to visit schools and colleges with the bilingual career materials to promote planning as a career option and to explain the role of planning to younger children.

40 percent of the RTPI Cymru's membership is over the age of 50 years old.

For more information on RTPI Cymru please visit