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Case study - Planning apprentice

Planning apprentice Nick A star turn as a speaker at a top industry convention was not what Nick Whittington expected when he joined our Planning team as an apprentice, but that is exactly where he found himself earlier this year. Nick, who has been with Planning since 2015, was invited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) to speak at their annual convention in London in June.

"I'm not by any means a natural speaker but felt it was a great opportunity and one that I couldn't turn down" says Nick.

Nick's 24-month placement in Planning, in partnership with Chichester College where he studied his Planning course, was part of the RTPI Planning Apprenticeship Programme's inaugural year. His appearance at the convention, which attracts planners from around the world, came about when the RTPI asked Nick if he would be willing to appear to promote the apprenticeships scheme.

Five young planners, including Nick, were invited to respond to the question: "During your planning career, how do you hope to combat climate change?'.

"None of my work so far has related closely to this topic so I will admit I was fairly daunted" smiles Nick, "but knowing that four of my colleagues were in the same boat put my mind more at ease. I mainly touched upon the emergence of driverless cars and how they might change our cityscapes and the way that we plan built-up spaces in the future. I also mentioned the ability of this technology to alleviate the growing issue of congestion within larger UK cities."

The convention's theme this year, 'Delivering a strong, inclusive future' gave Nick the opportunity to hear from planning specialists from the UK and overseas talk about how the planning profession can contribute towards shaping our built-environment in a more considerate and efficient way.

Asked what he would tell someone considering an apprenticeship, Nick says:

"Do it, and take every opportunity that you're presented with. During my apprenticeship I have hassled anyone and everyone I worked with to learn from their experiences. It's great because I could move freely between teams and gain knowledge as I went along."

In September Nick will be heading to university to study for a BSc in Geography (Human) and Planning. "I'm hoping that a degree in a recognised planning course, coupled with my apprenticeship and my experiences at NFDC, will open pathways into various potential careers in planning, development management, or policy-making."

We wish Nick good luck with his future career.


Published: 13 Sep 2017
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