Local government expertise meets commercial ambition: build your career with Capita’s planning hub of the east

Written by: Jennifer Jackson
Published on: 3 Jul 2015
Capita

Capita is a large FTSE 100 company and a key player in the local government planning marketplace. It has a range of strategic partnerships with local authorities and a large number of client contracts across the country. They are now looking for new recruits to join their development management and planning policy team located in Breckland, Norfolk.

Jennifer Jackson, Careers Content Editor at Planning Jobs, spoke to Stephen Ottewell, Associate Director, Planning and Building Control at Capita, to find out more about the roles, the training and mentoring on offer and the exciting projects the successful candidates will be working on.

stephen

Stephen Ottewell, Associate Director, Planning and Building Control at Capita

Gain commercial experience in the public sector

Capita is looking for candidates with a wide range of public sector experience to join its development management and planning policy team located in Breckland, Norfolk. Equally important is an aptitude and ability to work within a dynamic commercial organisation that has aspirations to grow its business.

“A positive can-do attitude is essential to these roles”, explains Ottewell. “All of the posts are expected to play a key part in the service delivery, especially the Planning Policy Manager position, which is the most senior of the posts being advertised.”

Work on exciting planning projects across the UK

As a key player in the local government planning marketplace, Capita has strategic partnerships with local authorities and a large number of client contracts across the country, making it a desirable employer to work for.

“Our partnership with Breckland Council, within which these posts will be located, provides our planning hub for the whole of the east of the country”, says Ottewell.

As part of its partnership with Breckland Council, Capita is responsible for the delivery of the Council’s development management and planning policy functions, including preparation of the Council’s Local Plan to an agreed timetable. “This represents a critical and exciting project”, says Ottewell.

“Anyone engaged in local plan preparation will appreciate the complexity but also the importance of having an up to date local plan in place”.

Work towards clear career goals

Ottewell offers this advice to planning professionals:

“I think it is important for individuals to have a clear idea of what they want to achieve with their career over the medium and long term and then seek to ensure you are working towards these goals.

“For example, you can decide to specialise within one area of planning or work more flexibly across a number of areas, such as development management and policy,” he adds.

Management support and mentoring

As a large FTSE 100 company, Capita offers lots of opportunities for career progression within the business, both within planning and in related fields.

Ottewell explains: “We support individuals in maintaining their CPD, and place a high value on staff training. Furthermore, as important as attendance at training events is, there is no substitute for enabling people to realise their potential through giving them opportunities and challenges as part of their day to day work, backed up by proper management support and mentoring.

Experienced planners in high demand

The job opportunities for those with substantial planning experience look promising, both now and in the future. While Capita is seeing a high level of interest in graduate level positions, there are fewer candidates going for more senior positions.

Ottewell concludes: “Given the increasing levels of development activity, including major schemes, and ongoing challenges with Local Plan delivery, I am expecting those planners with a number of years experience to be in ever increasing demand”.