From protecting our coastlines to creating better homes and regenerating cities, planners help make better places. And the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) is the UK’s leading planning body for spatial, sustainable and inclusive planning. And we’re also the largest planning institute in Europe with over 23,000 members.
Recent research has shown that the subject area of Planning is the fourth best university course to undertake and obtain a job upon graduation. At the RTPI, we promote high professional standards, by accrediting degrees across the UK, Ireland and internationally, ensuring a strong pipeline of planners. We understand the importance of getting young people interested in this subject area, and through our ‘Future Planners’ campaign, member volunteers are actively engaging with young people in schools to tell them more about planning. But it has become increasingly obvious that some employers are struggling to fill some posts.
So what are we going to do about it? We’ve already put some plans into action to address this and support professional careers. The technical apprenticeship is a fresh entry pathway, with the intention of widening access into the planning profession. We’re also considering a degree apprenticeship route to open up opportunities for some planning students to earn as they learn and gain a recognised qualification. A new RTPI Masters level bursary to attract graduates from other disciplines was launched this year across 23 universities, and a ‘Become a Planner’ web resource was published.
We started the RTPI Future Planners initiative as an exciting programme aimed to raise awareness of and foster interest in planning with school students, generally in the 11-18 age brackets. The project involves volunteer RTPI ambassadors, carrying out school visits to deliver presentations and engage students with the importance of planning in discussions and also through the series of resources that we’ve created.
We were eager to partner with Go Construct and to host some of our learning resources on the site, as we strongly felt that this would help us to extend our reach not only to young people, but also to career advisers and other planning professionals. It’s been great to see the response of our hosted resources on Go Construct, as in only one month, we’ve seen these resources being accessed multiple times.
Now with this success, we are looking forward to planning and generating more learning resources about planning for schools in 2016 which will also be hosted on Go Construct, so that our coverage is maximised.
If you’re thinking about a career in construction, it’s important to consider what sorts of projects you’d like to work on. Planners don’t just design everyday things like new housing developments and transport routes (although these can be very interesting projects to work on), but we work on big national infrastructure projects such as the 2012 London Olympics, HS2 and Crossrail. The role of planning is part of the built environment family of careers, and a career in planning gives you the opportunity to really make a difference to the world around you.
So whatever the type of person you are, there’s a role in planning to suit.