Two final year school pupils were recently given the opportunity to develop their knowledge and expertise at Ingleton Wood as part of a new forward-thinking work experience scheme launched by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).
The RTPI EXPLORE programme is a work experience pilot that aims to encourage young people, particularly those from Asian, Black, minority ethnic communities, and lower socio-economic backgrounds, to become town planners.
Forming part of the organisation’s broader ‘Change Action Plan’, focused on encouraging greater equality and diversity in the built environment sector, it represents a positive approach to promoting more inclusivity within the industry.
As part of the pilot scheme, the RTPI linked up with Ingleton Wood’s London office for its launch.
Ingleton Wood has a strong reputation within the industry for its commitment to skills development and training. This includes a degree apprenticeship scheme run in association with London South Bank University (LSBU) and Anglia Ruskin University, which launched in 2015.
After being contacted by the RTPI, the team at Ingleton Wood was eager to get involved in the new programme. Over a two-week period, students from Stepney All Saints and Swanlea School in Tower Hamlets spent a week shadowing Senior Planner, Andrew Dowell.
In addition to shadowing the team on projects and gaining valuable office experience, there were opportunities to gain first-hand industry exposure. Students were tasked with assessing public realm improvements, transport, building uses, and amenities, and asked to make recommendations on future development projects from a young person’s perspective.
With people across the globe celebrating World Youth Skills Day on 15 July, Ingleton Wood’s collaboration with the RTPI represents an exciting opportunity for the development and progression of young people in the sector.
Reflecting on the pilot scheme, Senior Planner at Ingleton Wood, Andrew Dowell said:
“It has been great to be able to offer these local students some practical face-to-face experience after the last couple of years of disrupted education.
“We hope to have given students the opportunity to discover and learn more about the planning industry, gain valuable office experience, and a greater understanding of the jobs available within the profession.
“The whole Ingleton Wood team found it extremely valuable to have insights from young people and it was fascinating to listen to their well-thought-out recommendations and ideas on the final days of their work placements.”
Speaking about their experience on the scheme, one student said: “Thank you so much for the work experience placement, I've learned so much over this past week, and I might start looking into a career of planning.”
For more information about the RTPI EXPLORE pilot scheme, see here