Students from the Scarborough Sixth Form College and pupils from Scarborough Graham School learnt about planning when they had visits from a ‘Future Planner’ ambassador from the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) on the 30th June and the 2nd July. The students and pupils, studying for their A levels and GCSEs respectively, found out about the challenges planners seek to address and the career opportunities available in the profession.
The RTPI ambassador, Simon Ward, director of local planning and surveying firm Simon Ward (Scarborough) Ltd, spoke to them about the impact of planning on their everyday lives and explained how planners are helping in the development of The Sands, a large multi-use tourist facility and accommodation proposal in the North Bay area of Scarborough. The ambassador also talked about the skill sets required by planners and the potential routes to study planning at university.
Mr Ward said: “Very few young people have heard of a planner or know what they do. The opportunity to go and talk to them about the modern day challenges that communities face; to explain the potential diversity of a career in planning, and to get feedback from them on what they are concerned about, was an enlightening experience, hopefully for the students as well as myself. The feedback was very positive and this initiative could lead to more integrated educational support to teaching staff and pupils by the RTPI.”
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.
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.
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.
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.”