New planning academy launched in North Lincolnshire allowing people to earn as they learn 

Planning and Environment
15:59, Tuesday, 9th July 2024

Apprentice council officers can develop their skills and train as in-house planners whilst completing their apprenticeships via the newly launched planning academy.  

Chris Clark has enrolled on Sheffield Hallam University’s degree course in Chartered Town Planning whilst working at North Lincolnshire Council, and upon completion in three years’ time, will become a chartered professional with the Royal Town Planning Institute. 

Planning apprentice Chris Clark, said: 

“Within my first six weeks in my post I’ve learnt incomparably more than during my time at university. This is mainly testament to the patient guidance of my colleagues and more, the long-term investment in me from the council. Thanks everyone.  

“After spending the first two weeks with the duty planning officers, weeks three to four with the planning support officers and since then having spent time with the case officers, this has provided me with a really strong foundation to build upon. 

“I look forward to learning more and getting to know more people.” 

He has joined fellow officers, Millie Arden, Deborah Oikeh and Matthew Gillyon who are all currently studying at Sheffield Hallam University alongside working in North Lincolnshire Council’s planning teams, with support and training provided.  

Equivalent to a traditional postgraduate degree, the course sees the apprentices work and study part-time at Sheffield Hallam University so they can earn as they learn.  

Cllr David Rose, cabinet member for environment and strategy cabinet member, said: 

“This is a great way for us to develop a longer-term approach to ‘growing our own’ and supporting young people at the early stages of their planning careers. This new approach to training and recruitment will benefit both the officers and those using the planning service.  

“It’s an exciting time for the planning team as they adopt new approaches to how we develop staff and approach day to day challenges.  

“I am thrilled that we have been able to launch the new planning academy to support our planning apprentices. 

“The initiative is among the improvements we are delivering to improve the development management service for residents and applicants, which helps make North Lincolnshire Council a more attractive place to invest, live and work in.” 

Millie Arden who is in her second year of the apprenticeship, says: 

“There is always something new to learn and something new to test your knowledge, which provides an opportunity to develop your skills as a planner. 

“The degree apprenticeship means I can gain experience working in practice whilst developing an in-depth knowledge of planning through the academic side of the apprenticeship.

“I would recommend a career in planning because most days provide an opportunity for you to work on something different and no two days are the same. Planning is a great career if you are willing to learn new things and understand new legislation.”


Pictured (left to right): Deborah Oikeh, Jack Standerline, Chris Clark, Matthew Gillyon, Cllr Rob Waltham, leader of North Lincolnshire Council, Cllr David Rose, Millie Arden, Rachael Major and Rebecca Leggott, Development Management Lead.