Lindsey Richards, newly inaugurated President of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), today announced the BALANCE (Build A Legacy And New Community Equality) initiative, to target activities to support a diverse and robust pipeline of young professionals entering planning, fortifying the profession for years to come.
Acknowledging the profound challenges confronting the profession, President Lindsey Richards underscored her determination to pave the way for the future. She pledged to drive forward diversity including the RTPI apprenticeship programme, generate heightened interest in planning degrees, and foster a broader understanding of planning's pivotal role in addressing economic, social, and environmental issues.
BALANCE seeks to enhance RTPI's career outreach efforts by expanding the reach of volunteers and school ambassadors to a greater number of schools and colleges. The initiative will target areas with high demand for housing or anticipated large-scale developments, with a special focus on schools facing educational challenges and representing diverse demographics, including areas of socio-economic deprivation in high planning demand locales.
The goal of the initiative is to attract talented young individuals who can subsequently contribute to their communities from positions of strength, while also creating accessible pathways for their professional education and development.
Speaking at her inauguration, Lindsey Richards, President of the RTPI in 2024, said: "I want to channel increased awareness and understanding of planning towards young people and achieve an early interest in planning as a career choice and building that robust pipeline of young professionals.
“The coming year I want to increase our presence in schools and universities, where we can promote planning as a career choice and also make the important connection with other subjects being a foundation to further learning. Last year we saw a record number of graduates becoming licentiates so we must build on this success.”