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Apprenticeship scheme for planners launched

01 October 2015

RTPI President Janet Askew was briefed this week on a new apprenticeship scheme for planners. Sedgemoor District Council has devised a new way of dealing with the shortage of town planners and working in partnership with Bridgwater College, the local authority has created a new apprenticeship in town planning. Six students have been recruited.  Council chairman, Cllr Ian Dyer and Group Manager Claire Pearce invited Janet  to Bridgwater  to meet their first apprentices.

JanetsedgemeoreChief planner, Claire Pearce (far right in the photo with some of the new apprentices), said that because of the huge workload arising out of the building of Hinckley C Nuclear Power Station, they need to employ more planners to deal with the demands of the development.

Working with Bridgwater College and with good support from the local councillors, the authority is paying for the training and education of students who will start with an apprenticeship in the basic skills and knowledge of planning on a day release basis.  After two years, they will  be eligible to apply to study for a degree at their local university planning school at the University of the West of England (UWE) in Bristol.  Janet met all those responsible for setting up this new course, and was pleased to meet the new recruits, who talked enthusiastically about their future careers as planners. 

Janet said: “Sedgemoor is to be congratulated on this scheme and I hope the publicity surrounding it will draw attention to the fact this is a well-paid, well respected and rewarding career for school leavers, those seeking a change in direction and those returning after career breaks."

RTPI apprenticeship initiative

The RTPI, in conjunction with the Construction Industry Council (CIC), has developed a new Town Planning Apprenticeship to help school leavers onto the career ladder and open up progression for existing staff to retain local expertise.

The RTPI apprenticeship can lead to membership of the RTPI.

The RTPI would like to expand this scheme across the UK next year including the development of a degree apprenticeship and is seeking employers and colleges interested in joining the scheme. To participate contact

Apprenticeships are work-based training programmes designed around the needs of employers and funding support is available. Apprenticeships are becoming increasingly popular with young people and are a valuable recruitment tool for employers. 

The Level 3 Town Planning Technical Support Apprenticeship framework includes the following qualifications

  • Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Town Planning Technical Support
  • Edexcel BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Town Planning Technical Support
  • Functional Skills (English Level 2 and Maths Level 2)
  • Personal Learning and Thinking skills
  • Employee Rights and Responsibilities (ERR)

You can find out more information on this initiative.