Candidate Tips

Starting a career in Town Planning: How to begin your journey

Alex Tapley

L&D Consultant

Jul 20, 2022

Made up of four key pillars – planning, construction, growth, and development – Town Planning has been a core sector for which we recruit since we established ourselves as a premium recruitment provider in 2004.

Specialising in Town Planning recruitment Oyster Partnership has been servicing both the public and private sector for nearly two decades and, in that time we have learnt the ins and outs of Town Planning and the roles and skills our clients are looking for in candidates. As a core pillar of Oyster Partnership, our specialist Town Planning team of consultants are able to best place candidates in their ideal role, be it junior or director level.

Town Planning Roles and Duties

Typical Town Planning roles include Spatial Planners, Urban Designers, Conservation Officers, Planning Officers within Development Management, Policy Planning, and Enforcement.

With day-to-day duties ranging anywhere from liaising with developers in order to meet housing targets, making sure planning rules and regulations are carried out, to developing local or national planning policies for government and redesigning urban spaces; developing parks, woodlands and waterways in a sustainable way. Town Planning jobs often boast attractive salary packages and provide talented candidates with the flexibility to move around within the industry.

Our team of specialist consultants at Oyster Partnership have not only been able to pair up suitable candidates with their ideal jobs, but also provide undergraduates looking to enter the field with expert advice.

With a number of different avenues to enter the field, candidates can often feel intimidated by the task of finding where their future career might be. Our consultants have offered hundreds of individuals expert advice and, with over a decade of experience working in the industry, we have gained the knowledge and insight to guide our candidates through the whole recruitment process, while matching them with the right job and providing advice when and where necessary.

How to Enter The Town Planning Sector

For the majority, the easiest and simplest way to enter the sector is to complete a relevant degree or equivalent qualification. For example, a Town Planner could get a degree or postgraduate qualification accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) to enter the sector.

For others looking for a more hands-on approach, apprenticeships offer an excellent path into the industry; pairing enthusiastic individuals with experienced town planners, individuals can gain both in-demand skills working with a chartered member of RTPI whilst achieving a professional qualification ‘on the job’ and earning a salary.

Through our extensive network of industry connections, we have found the two most efficient apprenticeship programs to enter the sector for our potential future candidates, are Level 3 Diplomas in Town Planning Technical Support, or Level 4-7 degree as a Chartered Town Planner.

Through years of experience working in both the public and private sector, we have found that firms typically like to take on potential candidates at an early stage in their career with typical town planning jobs taking the forms of either Town Planning Officers or Assistant Planners.

By obtaining the RTPI accreditation, individuals have found they are able to quickly move up the organisational ladder of established industry leaders. At Oyster Partnership, our team of specialists not only offers invaluable information on placements, but are also able to provide candidates with interview advice, career appraisals, interview prep, and market analysis.

What Clients Within Town Planning are Looking for

Over the years we have had much feedback from our vast client base in the town planning sector. Clients like candidates to demonstrate a strong passion for improving urban areas, and also to have an understanding of some of the existing environmental problems the sector is currently facing.

Furthermore, actively seeking out work experience at established firms has been proven to impress employers looking for future employees, especially those with experience at RTPI accreditation institutions. Showing a clear understanding of the field coupled with relevant work experience – in the form of either internships or apprenticeships – are what employers in the sector are actively looking for. A concise CV documenting these experiences, along with a demonstrated passion for the industry goes a long way for candidates looking to enter the sector.

Our years of being at the forefront of the industry, have allowed us to ascertain exactly what skills our clients are looking for in their future candidates. Be it expert judgment or the ability to work to tight deadlines in a scrupulous manner; we continue to swiftly match clients and candidates alike on fixed-term, temporary, and permanent contracts. With over 180,000 people migrating to urban areas every day, and Manchester and Inner London growing by 2.5% year-on-year, the need for effective town planning and streamlined recruitment solutions to match is glaringly obvious.

The Town Planning Team

Reviewing her experience working with Oyster Partnership’s Town Planning Consultant, a candidate writes “Oyster have been a massive support to me in a stressful time where everything was going pear-shaped in my life. After completing my studies at university I wanted to find a full-time position as soon as I could. I was a little worried about how long it would take me to find a job as it is known amongst graduates that finding a job after graduating is difficult.

I had luckily been in contact with Oyster Partnership and had a job within a week of completing my dissertation. It was such a stress free process as they did all the searching for me. They made it much easier when it came to the job search.

Natasha did all the hard work in finding a role that I enjoy. The job is also in a great location with an easy commute. I am currently working as a planning officer for a Local Authority…Oyster Partnership found my first job in planning and helped me in the process of becoming a planning officer; the move was seamless… Oyster Partnership have done an amazing job in finding my placement and will undoubtedly do so for future placements.”

The Oyster Difference

At Oyster Partnership we take the time to understand the needs of each candidate on a personal level, enabling us to find the roles that will be a perfect fit for them. We take into account location, salary, hours, flexibility, anything that can make a job work or not. Our recruiters know each client personally, they spend time finding out what the clients are looking for, and they spend time getting to know the candidate so the match works for both sides.

Not to mention that our recruiters actively experience the roles they are recruiting for, through our job experience days. This unique initiative allows our staff to fully understand both what a client is looking for, and what the role can offer to a candidate. It’s this proactive and unique approach to recruitment that makes Oyster the best at what they do.

Share this article

L&D Consultant

Alex Tapley

Alex started out his recruitment journey at Oyster in 2017, joining the long-established Town Planning team. He slotted in immediately and started to grow his network of candidates and clients, most of whom have stayed faithful to him throughout his developing career at Oyster. Fast forward to now, and Alex is our L&D Consultant, responsible for training all new recruits in our 12 week academy programme.

More from our blog