Guide to UK Town Planning employment for working travellers
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- Where are the British Planning posts located?
- What types of planning jobs are available?
- How much can I earn as a Town Planner?
- What should my Town Planning resume look like?
- What can I do to prepare for the differences in planning systems?
- The Essential Guide for Town Planners going to the UK
Town Planning Jobs
For many years the British Town Planning industry has benefited from the constant arrival of qualified Aussie, Kiwi and Canadian Planners. However, since the economic slowdown and more recently austerity measures, the demand for candidates without British work experience has reduced significantly. This could change quickly as the industry has a chronic shortage of homegrown planners and changes to government budgets will have an immediate impact. Planners with at least one year's post-graduation experience in either a private planning consultancy or from within local government should still try to find employment in the planning industry. Smaller peaks and troughs are normal and do occur – prepare before you go over by applying to suitable jobs and registering with agencies through Workgateways.
Planning positions are available UK-wide in both urban and regional settings. Traditionally, London was the focus for travellers and whilst there was a fantastic need for Planners with 1 to 2 years experience in London, many great opportunities exist outside in the counties and in other major cities. Interestingly, rates of pay similar to London and the cost of living in these other locations is significantly less. For more information go to "Where are the jobs?"
Town Planning positions are more often contract in nature and can range in duration from two weeks to eight months or more. Permanent planning positions, particularly within private industry can be available to those with appropriate work visas.
All areas of planning are covered by WORKgateways’ UK recruitment partners including statutory planning, strategic planning and environmental planning; many positions available are in policy planning and analysis, however development control and assessment remain the most commonly vacant positions. For more information, go to "Basic titles and job descriptions"
For most recently graduated (one to three years experience) Town Planners the average starting contract rate is usually between £12 to £17 per hour. This is approximate and does not take into account your taxation status.
Those arriving for work with over fours years experience may expect their contract rates to start around £14 to £19 per hour. It is also important to note that your contract rates often increase as you gain that important exposure to the UK’s planning system.
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Be sure your resume includes specific details of your duties and responsibilities for each position you have held. This is the most common complaint from recruitment consultants – ‘not enough information or detail!’ Point-form lists of duties, or work carried out on a daily basis is a good idea. Special projects undertaken can certainly be mentioned as well.
For more information on how to write your CV visit Your Resume: the key to winning a job in the UK.
Any knowledge at all of the British planning system is highly beneficial. In our "Essential Guide for Planners going to the UK for work" we discuss the UK planning system and how the new Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act is making an impact on the way things are done.
Finally, "How to bluff your way in an interview"
Want to know more about living and working in Britain?
- Working: UK taxation, UK banking
- Living: cost of living, where to live, healthcare, finding a flat, getting around