James, Planning and Growth

What is your role?James

My current job role is as a Planning Technician Apprentice, which includes dealing with ‘small’ and various planning applications, which I can complete with the training I have received. I am currently working within the Development Management area, which is within the Planning Department. 

When did you start here?

I joined in October 2019 and I am contracted to have a two-year apprenticeship.

Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship?

I chose an apprenticeship as I enjoyed the opportunity’s and career options which are offered. Receiving on-the-job training, I found, is also much more beneficial as it can be related back to the college work. I also enjoy the pressure of dealing with work and college at the same time.

Did you come with GCSEs or A levels?

I came into my apprenticeship with the 10 GCSE and one AS level.

Did you have a clear idea of what you wanted to do?

When I applied for my apprenticeship, I was unsure of the career I wanted to have. Having been in my apprenticeship for around 10 months, I can say I want to go into a career within the planning sector, within the council. Having applied for many different apprenticeships, I am very glad I have chosen and stuck with this one.

Why did you decide to work here?

I chose West Suffolk Council due to the location, opportunity and qualification offered within this apprenticeship.

What did you know about the council before you joined and what have you learnt about it so far?

I had limited knowledge and understanding of how the council functions and operates. I was aware of key principles and morals such as the council's PRIDE statement, although since joining I now have a much deeper and knowledgeable understanding of the services and functions which take place on a day to day basis. I also now appreciate and understand the importance of local authority and the impact of the Individuals on the council.

What apprenticeship are you undertaking, and do you have future plans?

I am currently doing a Town Planning apprenticeship which I hope will set me in good stead to become a Planning Officer and possibly obtain a more Senior role in the future.

What do you enjoy about working here?

The flexible working hours are great as it allows you to manage your time and work more efficiently. I also enjoy the opportunities offered and people you meet working within a local council.

Apart from your apprenticeship, have you had other opportunities to learn and develop, job-shadow or to be involved in different projects?

There are many opportunities associated within the council and within the Planning and Regulatory services. There are also career pathway options, in which future progress can be had after the initial apprenticeship.

What advice would you give to future applicants?

To apply for a sector within the council that you have an interest in. For example, I enjoyed Geography at high school and that influenced me to apply for a job which related to sustainable development and geographic elements.