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Part 3: Happy planners - but only just

Published on: 12 Apr 2019

Happy face  [square]More than half of planners are happy with pay, conditions and opportunities for development – but a significant minority register dissatisfaction in The Planner’s 2018-19 Careers Survey, reports Simon Wicks. 

A snapshot of planner careers

The survey sought to take a snapshot of how planners feel about their profession at a time of political, economic and technological. upheaval. It has also been conducted amid a growing awareness of the need to attract more young people into the profession. In addition to questions about well-being at work, the survey asked planners how best to attract more people into the profession and their feelings about the future of planning.

When asked what they felt employers could do to attract a more diverse range of young people into the planning profession, 77 per cent of respondents said “Offer more work experience placements”, with attending careers fairs and giving talks in schools also proving popular.

When asked which ‘mega trend’ would have the greatest effect on how planners work, urbanisation and digital tools to help productivity came out on top. The most important element of a 21st century planning education? Training in urban design, closely followed by climate change mitigation, then economics and finance.

And when asked how they would make planning more influential in strategic decision-making, our respondents’ feelings were clear: 40 per cent felt that mandatory training for elected members on planning committees would have the biggest impact on strategic decisions involving planning.

Andrew CloseRTPI head of Careers, Education and Professional Development, said the institute “has long campaigned for government and local authorities to assign more resources to planning teams, a campaign which resulted in planning fees going up and feeding back to planning authorities. We haven’t stopped lobbying for more resources for planning authorities, and our campaign is backed up by continuing research into the issues.”

Download The Planner's Careers Survey

A PDF of the full careers survey report can be downloaded here (registration required). We explore some of the topic in more detail in the 2019 February issue of The Planner.

Simon Wicks is deputy editor of The Planner