The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has announced that it is using government funding to help support more young people into careers in planning.
More than fifty students around the country are to receive the support through a bursary that will cover a chunk of their university fees, as they look to move into planning. The bursary, delivered by the Royal Town Planning Institute, will help to attract the next generation of planners as they are supported to undertake a masters in planning.
The funding announced today will increase the size of the bursary that is available, bringing it from £2,000 to £5,000. This should be enough to cover up to half of the cost of the university fees of students. This funding, specifically aimed at students who are more disadvantaged, including those who are struggling financially, those with disabilities, or those with care responsibilities, further helping to boost diversity within the sector.
Additional workforce in planning will help local authorities to recruit more staff, leading to the creation of better neighbourhoods and improved communities.
Over the course of the last three years, more than 150 bursaries have been funded by the Levelling Up Department, however this also comes alongside the recent announcement of £1 million of funding to help councils with the recruitment and training of skilled planners. This funding will also serve to increase awareness of careers in local government positions.
Rachel Maclean, Minister for Housing and Planning, said:
“Planning is an incredibly rewarding career and planners across the country are helping us to level up by delivering more homes, better infrastructure and the communities of tomorrow.
“This funding will attract fresh talent and ideas to the planning sector, including a more diverse range of students who will help deliver a modern and efficient planning system.”
Victoria Hills, Chief Executive of the Royal Town Planning Institute, said:
“Local authorities and planning consultancies alike are struggling to attract and retain talent. This matters not just to the future of planners, but to the communities we represent.
“To deliver for communities, it’s essential that we continue to attract diverse talent onto accredited planning courses and support the development of a professional panning workforce that is open and inclusive. This important bursary scheme, delivered by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, will help more students access an RTPI accredited Masters programme and inspire and prepare the next generation for a rewarding career in planning.”