How will biodiversity net gain requirements affect your career?

Written by: Katy Thorne
Published on: 21 Jun 2022

Penguin Recruitment

Katy Thorne at Penguin Recruitment looks at how BNG will impact planning jobs and recruitment.

Katy Thorne

Katy Thorne, senior consultant, Penguin Recruitment

By 2023, any new development will be legally required to boost biodiversity. But there are big concerns over how biodiversity net gain (BNG) will be implemented. A key part of ensuring success will be making sure that planning teams are well resourced. How will the requirements impact your role and your company’s recruitment strategy? Which specialisms will be in high demand and what skills and knowledge will be required?

What is biodiversity net gain (BNG)?

The new Environment Act 2021 stipulates that all new development must deliver a net gain in BNG of ten per cent, either onsite or via offsetting. Essentially, BNG aims to leave the natural environment in a much better state, which in turn will help minimise the damaging effects of global warming.

Planning ahead for BNG

It is important for organisations to plan ahead to meet the new government requirements in regards to BNG and ensure they are well resourced. Those who plan ahead are more likely to benefit from more business and clients moving in a sustainable direction, which will allow for the public to approve of future developments. This is only possible if you have the right people and skills in place in readiness.

Impact on your day-to-day role

The positive impact of implementing BNG is that, as a planning professional, you will probably feel enhanced job satisfaction in your day-to-day duties. On the flip side, it could be time consuming for you to learn about the new legislation and put new policies and procedures into practice on a daily basis. From an employer’s perspective, some investment may be required into training programmes to help you update the way you work.

Career prospects

The short term career prospects for you as a planning professional is that you will most likely gain new skills and learn new planning processes which will in turn yield long term career prospects. A range for new roles could be opened up within local planning authorities, private consultancies and development companies.

We’ve seen a huge increase in salaries across the board within ecology and town planning, with this year being the highest we’ve seen due to a tremendous candidate shortage and increased demand from clients vying to secure them.

Drawing up a robust recruitment strategy

Planning teams can ensure they have a robust recruitment strategy moving forward by starting to implement the biodiversity net gain changes as and when the update is issued so that by 2023 these will all be in place and practised daily.

From speaking with organisations on this topic, everyone seems to be implementing these changes now in order to reach the 2023 deadline. Whether it be private sector or public sector, all organisations are committed to gaining suitable candidates in this field and experience in time for the legislation.

There is already a shortage of candidates in the market for town planners in general, so in this field there are even fewer candidates. Clients are seeking our help in recruiting for more environmental-related roles in planning and we’ve had more EIA roles than ever across the UK.

To discuss your recruitment needs contact Katy Thorne at Penguin Recruitment:

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