Birmingham City Council has taken on ten graduates as part of a programme to inject young blood into its planning department.
The authority has employed the graduates on fixed term contracts of two years, during which they will spend six month chunks in different parts of the department.
Waheed Nazir, director of planning and regeneration at the council, told Planning that the initiative had been made possible by an upturn in the economy.
He said: “Many sectors, including planning have an ageing work profile. We, in common with many organisations, haven’t taken on any graduates since the credit crunch hit.
“Now there is more development coming forward we took a view that we needed to invest in new graduates and develop them.”
He said that the recruits would spend six months in development management, six months in strategy, six months in the council’s housing company, and then the final six months in design or conservation roles, or even in the private sector.
Nazir said: “Hopefully at the end of the two years there will be opportunities for the planners to stay within the department, but even if they stay in the city in private practice, we think the city council will benefit from the understanding they have gained.”
The graduates recruits are:
- Rebecca Cox – MSc City Planning and Real Estate (University of Glasgow), completed in 2014
- Laura Mattison – BSc Geography (University of Birmingham), completed in 2013
- Grace Bishop – BSc Geography (University of Hull), completed in 2015
- Sophie Long - BSc Geography (University of Birmingham), completed in 2015
- John Dixon - BSc Geography (Aberystwyth University), completed in 2014
- Abbey Edwards - BSc Geography and Urban and Regional Planning (University of Birmingham), completed in 2015
- Caroline Ossowska – MSc Urban and Regional Planning (University of Birmingham), completed 2014
- Hiteshree Kundalia - BA Geography (Sheffield Hallam University), completed in 2012
- Veronica Russell – BSc Interior Architect and Property Development (University of Wolverhampton), completed 2013
- Myles Smith – BSc Planning, Environment and Development (Birmingham City University), completed in 2015
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