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Government to fund planning apprenticeship scheme

Words: Laura Edgar
Studying / iStock_000039456960

The RTPI and the Chartered Town Planner Apprenticeship Trailblazer Employer Group have received written confirmation that the degree-level apprenticeship will receive the highest band of government funding.

The government letter dated 29 June 2018 states that the scheme will receive “the maximum amount of government funding available to employers per apprentice for a particular apprentice for a particular apprentice standard, as a contribution towards the costs of external training and assessment”.

In May, the RTPI announced that it and the trailblazer group had challenged the Institute for Apprenticeships’ (IfA) ability to assess professional standards following the IfA’s rejection of the assessment plans for a degree-level apprenticeship.

A ruling is expected in the summer, with the delay meaning that universities will not be able to recruit students as planned this September.

The funding is confirmed despite this appeal.

Philip Ridley, co-chair of the trailblazer group, said: “The latest funding decision from the government illustrates that the chartered town planner apprenticeship should be accepted so that apprentices can start. Employers and universities are ready to go.

“The IfA’s misunderstanding of the role of chartered bodies in assessing competence is putting delivery of the government’s agenda for housing and infrastructure at risk.”

Victoria Hills, chief executive at the RTPI, added: “It is fantastic news that the government has indicated their commitment to funding this scheme at the highest band, which goes to show how valuable and urgent the training of planners through a more diversified route is to the country.”

She said more than 20 employers and six universities had been hoping to recruit this September and urged the IfA to accept the institute’s proposed assessment method.

The government initially approved the principle of a Chartered Town Planning Apprenticeship in May 2017, which has been developed by the trailblazer group with help and support from the RTPI.

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