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RTPI a step closer to establishing degree apprenticeship

Words: Laura Edgar
RTPI working toward establishing a degree apprenticeship / iStock-123496227

The government has approved in principle a proposal by the RTPI to develop a degree apprenticeship for chartered town planners in England.

This is the first step in creating an apprenticeship that would combine academic education with vocational training aimed at equipping future employees with vital skills as well as a degree.

School-leavers will be able to earn a wage from an employer while being sponsored to complete a full bachelor’s or master’s degree without paying fees.

Existing graduates or employees with no planning qualifications may be eligible.

The length of the course hasn’t been confirmed yet, although usually they are completed within six years.

The cost of a course fee is shared between the government and the employer.

Once the scheme has been developed and agreed in full, employers and universities offering RTPI-accredited planning courses can start to train the first apprentices from as early as spring 2018.

The RTPI would support a trailblazer group to develop the standard and the end-point assessment for the degree apprenticeship. This group would include employers from the public and private sectors.

Philip Ridley, head of planning and coastal management at Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Councils, and co-chair of the Trailblazer Group, said: “This apprenticeship will provide a new pathway into the profession to help address the shortage of planners across the UK. It will help ensure that there is a healthy pipeline of town planners to help deliver the jobs, growth and homes we need.”

Andrew Close, head of careers, education and professional development at the RTPI, added: “Many employers of planners have expressed a strong interest in alternative, workplace routes to becoming town planners. It is also timely in light of the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy. The apprenticeship will ensure that graduates gain the practical skills and academic training to succeed in the workplace. We hope talented young people will be attracted to embark on a town planning career through this pathway.”

Image credit | iStock