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Event Review: Demystifying Degree Apprenticeships webinar

Are you interested in attracting bright talent into your organisation, while simultaneously helping to make the planning profession more open and accessible to all?

On Thursday 27 May, RTPI London hosted the 'Demystifying Degree Apprenticeships', in which attendees heard from a number of speakers including representatives from London South Bank University, a current town planner apprentice and town planner apprenticeship employer. The webinar was chaired by RTPI London volunteer, Chloe Rutland.

The event, which was aimed at both potential town planner apprenticeship employers and apprentices, sought to explain the process of becoming a Chartered Town Planner via the apprenticeship route, and provide clarity on the apprenticeship pathway to qualification and Chartered Membership of the RTPI.

During the presentation we heard from Trish Murphy, Apprenticeship Co-ordinator at the RTPI, who explained that depending on the training provider, apprentices can enter the chartered town planner degree apprenticeship at either Entry Point 1 (with A-levels) or Entry Point 2 (prior learning at degree level).

Apprentices can expect to complete 2-5 years training before entering the Gateway and Assessment stage (1 year), after which apprentices can take their End Point Assessment (including Assessment of Professional Competence). On passing this, the apprentice is then elected to full Chartered Membership of the RTPI.

As part of their degree apprenticeship, apprentices can expect to receive 20% off-the-job training, and during the webinar we heard from Dr Sophie Elsmore, Joint Course Director Undergraduate Planning Programmes and Senior Lecturer in Housing and Human Geography at London South Bank University (LSBU), one of London’s major planning schools. LSBU has been delivering professionally accredited planning courses for over 50 years, and began delivering chartered town planning degree apprenticeships as one of London’s early adopters in 2019.

The LSBU chartered town planner degree apprenticeship course offers a students a broad-ranging, comprehensive planning education, and students have access to excellent facilities including a dedicated apprenticeships team and apprentice resource centre. The course looks to develop apprentices’ planning knowledge base, as well as key skills and behaviours, and looks at topics including planning practice theory, planning law, plan preparation and implementation, stakeholder engagement and project management skills.

Amy Powell, chartered town planning apprentice at Edgars Ltd said: “I definitely feel like I’ve been well supported through the chartered town planning degree apprenticeship route, and that was one of the reasons why I chose the apprenticeship route rather than doing a part-time masters and working alongside… there are three partners within the programme: your employer, your university and yourself. Because you have three partners there, you are always supported to succeed.”

Pip Howson, who employs chartered town planner apprentices at the London Borough of Southwark said: “I’m very proud to say all three of our first chartered town planner apprentices have already been promoted, and they are continuing their education with LSBU… as an employer we really value the process and think it’s great for the future of us having RTPI-qualified planners in our department.”

If you would like to learn more about the chartered town planner degree apprenticeship programmes, you can view the full webinar here:

Employer applications to the LSBU chartered town planner degree apprenticeship programme are now open:

For further information on how you can take on a chartered town planner degree apprentice in September 2021, please contact: Lucy Barton