RTPI Planning Apprentice: A Career in Town Planning

The introduction of the RTPI’s town planning apprenticeship route in 2019 is considered by many a welcoming addition to encourage and diversify people into the planning profession. Despite the pandemic, the RTPI advises that the flexibility of working whilst studying for a planning degree means that the apprenticeship route continues to show promising signs of going from strength to strength.

McLoughlin Planning is pleased to be an early adopter, with our current Graduate Apprentice Planner Braden Stonehouse completing his first year in 2022 and progressing through to his final year. He has shared his thoughts on the apprenticeship scheme and his first year in the planning profession:

“After completing my undergraduate degree, I was unsure whether going straight into the workplace or completing the RTPI accredited Master’s course would be the best next step for my professional development. Having limited planning experience coming out of university I felt it imperative to work in the sector but was particularly conscious of continuing my education so that I could quickly progress becoming a chartered member.

McLoughlin Planning gave me the opportunity of employment to gain invaluable workplace experience alongside a part-time Master’s course at the University of the West of England in Urban Planning as part of the Degree apprenticeship program. What was particularly attractive about this form of work/study was that there was a clear pathway from graduate to a chartered member of the RTPI.

Throughout the last year of Work/Study, I have been able to apply the theory of the University modules to being in practice dealing with live applications. The projects I’ve worked on have varied greatly too, from extensions and alterations to dwellings, to barn conversions, large housing schemes, and even hospitals, each presenting its own challenges and learning experience, across multiple local authorities.  I feel this has aided both my studies and the quality of my work. To the point where for the last few months I have been independently handling applications.

 One surprising aspect of the last year has been the amount of information I have retained through sheer osmosis. Working side by side with my colleagues and listening to how they deal with situations has been invaluable to my progression thus far”.

Braden has been a key member of the McLoughlin team from day one and has regularly demonstrated that the opportunity to mix academics with direct work helps create a well-rounded planner with the ability to tackle planning applications in a range of sectors. We are optimistic that the apprenticeship program will help encourage others to join the profession, particularly at a time when the demand for planners remains high.

McLoughlin Planning wants to support and encourage long-term careers in the planning profession for its staff by providing opportunities, like the graduate apprenticeship scheme, to help develop and grow. For further information about the apprenticeship route into planning, please follow the link below.