Part 3: Planning - A career of choice
Planning has the tools to address many of the challenges facing young people and their communities, says Helen Hayes MP. It’s vital to make planning a career of choice for those who want to make a difference.
Careers survey: Inviting in, reaching out
Here's what The Planner's Careers Survey 2018/19 revealed about careers in planning, writes Simon Wicks, The Planner's deputy editor.
What can employers do to attract a more diverse range of young people to the profession?
77% - Offer more work experience placements
69% - Attend careers fairs at colleges and schools with high diversity of population
67% - Give talks in schools in areas with high diversity of population
46% - Create relationships with industry networks that cater to diverse populations
38% - Advertise jobs in a wider range of publications/jobs boards
28% - Alter recruitment processes to minimise unconscious bias
20% - Create aspirational diversity targets and measure progress against them
16% - Other
One respondent suggested: “Education from primary level through to sixth form/ university – this is where planning can begin to ensure and enable the profession to have a strong and capable workforce.”
Another said: “It’s not just employers, it’s the RTPI and universities. The RTPI apprenticeship scheme is one of the most important things that could be done to attract a more diverse range of planners. Planning is so exciting; it affects how and where we live/work/play (and so much more besides) and yet is seen as dull/boring and a block to progress. The RTPI needs young ambassadors.”
What is the RTPI doing?
Ambassadors: The RTPI ambassadors scheme offers RTPI members the chance to speak to school and university students about planning.
Apprenticeships: The RTPI oversees a level 3 diploma apprenticeship in town planning technical support and a level 7 degree apprenticeship is in development.
Bursaries: The RTPI Trust offers a £2,000 diversity bursary to BAME undergraduate planning students and those with disabilities. The Future Planners bursary is for postgraduate students who choose planning as a career.
In schools: The Agent Plan-It radio show is aimed at 8-13-year-olds; the Place Makers interactive role-play game is tied to the GCSE geography curriculum; and there are planning-based classroom resources for teachers.
Young Planners: Chief Planners of Tomorrow enables young planners to shadow a chief planner for a day.
Andrew Close, the RTPI’s head of careers, education and professional development, said: “The RTPI is passionate about the recruitment of planners from the widest pool. We've broadened routes to chartered membership and we're seeing a 19 per cent year-on-year increase in applications through non accredited routes. Plus, more students are taking the next step towards chartered status and converting to Licentiate status."
Helen Hayes is a former town planner and has been the Labour MP for Dulwich and West Norwood since 2015. She sits on the Housing, Communities and Local Government select committee, and is a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Housing and Planning. This article is written in a personal capacity.
Image credit | IKON