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Investing in Talent, Building Communities

Investing in Talent, Building Communities

our solutions

investing in Talent, Building Communities

The UK is renowned for being the best place to start and grow a business, but a slow planning system, due to lack of resource and specialist skills, is holding firms, and the country, back and impacting economic growth.

To tackle the problem, business must be part of the solution. 

That’s why we’re asking firms to participate in this business-led programme by making a financial contribution to this vital initiative, which has already been recognised in the Spring Budget 2024.

Our Solution

The British Chambers of Commerce, alongside Aviva as founding partner, is establishing a five-year industry-led programme to increase skills and capacity in Local Planning Authorities (LPAs). The programme aims to raise at least £3m from business to pay for at least 100 people to enter the planning industry and develop specialist skills, making investing in the UK quicker and easier.

Announced in the Spring Budget, the government confirmed that they will provide up to £3m in restricted matched funding to Local Planning Authorities to ensure that newly trained people are employed for at least two years post qualification.

Our UK-wide, industry-led fund will pay for at least 100 undergraduate and masters’ level qualifications. This will be for people entering the planning industry and will also support people already working in LPAs who need to upskill and gain further technical knowledge for more senior planning roles.  

The programme fund will pay for the learner’s training. Where appropriate, it will also aim to facilitate access to work experience and jobs within LPAs. In return, at the end of their course of study, the learner must be willing to work in a council planning department for at least two years or will be required to pay back the cost of the training.

The larger the fund, the more learners can be helped and the greater the impact business can have now and in the future.  We’re encouraging businesses of all sizes and across all sectors to come forward to back the programme.

The government £3m contribution will ensure that those LPAs are able to employ the graduates for at least two years post qualification.


Responding to the Spring budget announcement of new funding to train planners, Shevaun Haviland, Director General of the BCC, said: 

“We are pleased the Chancellor has joined forces with the BCC and our founding partner Aviva, by committing £3m of matched funding to our business-led programme to unlock the planning system. This is a clear signal from Government about working in partnership with business to solve problems. We now have a real opportunity to make the system quicker and more efficient for everyone. It is all about investing in talent and building communities.”


Victoria Hills, Chief Executive of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), said: 

“The RTPI is consistently striving to ensure a continuing pipeline of qualified planners is entering the profession. The government’s decision to provide £3m match funding for this industry-backed scheme to train planning officers shows that the government recognises the recruitment challenges faced by the profession.  We support the principles of this programme which builds on our bursary scheme and will look to support its design and development for the benefit of planning systems across the UK”.

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