Enter the planning profession with Birmingham City Council’s Graduate Hub

Written by: Jennifer Jackson
Published On: 2 Jul 2015

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Birmingham City Council has one of the most innovative and forward thinking planning and regeneration departments in the country. They are looking to appoint 10 graduate officers across various teams as part of their new Graduate Hub.

Jennifer Jackson, Careers Content Editor at Planning Jobs, spoke to Waheed Nazir, Director of Planning and Regeneration at Birmingham City Council, to find out more about how the job opportunities will give the right graduates a unique learning experience and a real step up into the planning profession.

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Waheed Nazir, Director of Planning and Regeneration at Birmingham City Council

Get involved in live projects from day one

It’s an exciting time for graduates looking to start a planning career in Birmingham as the city’s growth continues to make big waves in the property industry, with more planned and committed investment than ever before. This is likely to mean more housing and jobs for the area.

As Nazir enthuses: “The City Council is at the forefront of delivering significant local developments and major national programmes, making a real difference to people’s lives. The graduate officers will be involved in such exciting live projects and cases from day one.”

Gain unique learning experiences and become a fully accredited planning professional

The job opportunities will give successful candidates the chance to become highly skilled and well balanced professionals by working on a range of projects across planning, housing, regeneration and design.

The positions are aimed at graduates who have completed a built environment degree, such as town planning, geography or architecture. However, Nazir explains that while some placement or work experience in a planning department would be beneficial, it’s not necessary: “These posts will offer a unique learning experience, allowing graduates to gain the experience they require in order to become accredited by professional bodies. It will give them a real step up into the planning profession”.

A rare chance to work on exciting public sector projects

Whilst the City Council has a number of programmes to support young people gaining experience in the planning and regeneration department, there has historically been a lack of longer term opportunities for those starting on their chosen career path to gain practical experience across a range of topics.

Nazir comments: “Whilst the private sector has graduate programmes, the public sector has struggled in recent years to address this demand. Our Graduate Hub will ensure a range of graduates are given the chance, over a two-year period, to work in the public sector and gain experience with some high profile projects.”

Help drive high profile national and local programmes

The graduate officers will have the opportunity to work on some of the City Council’s major national and local programmes, including the Curzon Masterplan, which will help maximise the benefits of HS2, and the City Centre Enterprise Zone which is delivering new commercial floorspace and jobs.

At the same time, the Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust, the City Council’s home building programme, is providing high quality new homes across the city, with 1,400 already delivered or under construction.

Gain access to a variety of training tools

One of the main aims of the Graduate Hub is to give employees the opportunity to work in different functions of the department, allowing for maximum exposure in order to help them develop their careers.

“Each graduate officer will be assigned a mentor for the duration of their placement and will also have access to a range of training tools through our corporate learning and development programmes”, explains Nazir.

The future of the planning industry

Nazir concludes with a positive outlook for the future: “We are taking a bold step to create opportunities for graduates now and in the future at a level that would normally be limited to the private sector.

“We are also looking to develop a clear partnership approach within the industry to maximise and widen the scope of the Graduate Hub. This will benefit the City Council, its employees and the entire planning profession.”

View the job specification and apply for a graduate officer role at Birmingham City Council.