My experience doing a Boyer Apprenticeship
Having started a Level 7 Degree Apprenticeship with Boyer in September 2022, I would like to share some thoughts. I hope this may encourage others to consider an apprenticeship as an alternative route to becoming a Chartered Town Planner.
Boyer supports Level 7 Degree Apprenticeships that are RTPI accredited, providing a career path post-Bachelor’s Degree, which includes Master’s Degree and Chartership qualifications. This process is approximately three-years when starting at ‘entry point 2’ on the RTPI Route Summary, dependent on the course chosen and entry into the course. Over a two-year period, I attend university one day a week equating to 20% of my weekly hours. Off-the-job learning hours are required of employers to be dedicated to university. This ensures an effective balance of university classroom and workplace learning.
To the participant and company there can be financial benefits. Through the Apprenticeship Levy in which Boyer contributes to, Boyer can support employees, like myself, in vocational and professional qualifications with workplace- and classroom-based training. Therefore, neither the participant Boyer directly incurs the course fees. Similarly, the apprenticeship route allows me to earn a graduate salary while partaking in a Master’s Degree.
Additionally, the experiences gained through workplace- and classroom-based learning, has been a positive learning experience. My knowledge of the planning system is continually reinforced and built upon. Boyer’s Graduate Programme ensures on-the-job/ workplace learning alongside university learning helps me apply practical workplace examples to theories and philosophies and vice versa.
Personally I believe that a largely dismissed but greatly important aspect of the apprenticeship is the social benefits of networking. The university comprises a diverse range of planning, architectural, design professionals within a wider local area. Relationships developed through collaborative learning experience create beneficial connections that have potential to be utilised post-qualifications to the benefit of future work.
The apprenticeship route provides financial benefits, professional social networking, real hands-on experience alongside professionals and a masters-level university experience. However, apprenticeships are not to be underestimated as an easier or quicker route to chartership, as apprenticeships require a commitment to hard work. Those who participate must be dedicated to the planning profession and continued professional development.
Boyer Planning Apprenticeships: Apprenticeships (boyerplanning.co.uk)
Government Apprenticeship Levy: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apprenticeship-levy-how-it-will-work/apprenticeship-levy-how-it-will-work
RTPI Routes to Becoming a Planner (RTPI Route Summary): https://www.rtpi.org.uk/become-a-planner/apprenticeships/chartered-town-planner-apprenticeship/
Apprenticeship Information for Employers: https://www.rtpi.org.uk/become-a-planner/apprenticeships/information-for-employers/