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Graduate hub approved in Birmingham

Words: Laura Edgar

A Planning and Development Graduate Hub has been approved by Birmingham City Council to find and develop talent during a time of massive regeneration across the city.

The graduate hub will, says the city council, offer two-year paid positions within the council’s planning and regeneration department. The programme would be delivered in two phases, with opportunities for 10 graduates this year and potentially 10 the following year.

It aims to support graduates who have completed a built environment degree, including geography, planning and regeneration, allowing them to gain relevant experience in the profession as well as offering them the opportunity to work towards membership of a professional body.

Tahir Ali, cabinet member for transport, development and the economy at Birmingham City Council, said: “The graduate hub will make a real contribution to delivering our growth agenda for Birmingham by making sure the right skills are in place, and will offer graduates a fantastic learning experience on the largest local government graduate programme for the planning profession.”

Ali added that council would also look to work with other public and private sector partners to expand the hub’s potential.

Waheed Nazir, the council’s director of planning and regeneration, said the scheme would ensure that Birmingham City Council has the capacity to continue to deliver growth. “It will give graduates the chance to become highly skilled and well-balanced professionals by working on a range of projects, including planning, housing, regeneration and design."

The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) supported the “innovative scheme”.

Trudi Elliott, chief executive at the RTPI, said: “In an increasingly competitive job market, an initiative like this will provide valuable opportunities for high-calibre graduates to enter local government.

“It will also ensure a range of graduates are given the chance, over a two-year period, to work in the public sector in one of the most exciting planning environments. The new graduate hub will aid their progression as professional planners even if they decide to pursue later roles in private practice, by ensuring they have vital experience of both sectors. We look forward to working with the council on this project.”

Opportunities for 2015 are expected to be advertised this summer.