Edgars is a town planning consultancy based in Oxfordshire, with a strong team of expert planners - led by Director Jayne Norris and Jon Westerman - whose combined experience spans 50 years across a whole spectrum of planning work. Services cover planning, development and specialist services - from simple client advice to estate master planning, legacy projects to new home developments, heritage projects to appeals - covering everything from commercial buildings to education facilities.
In total, Edgars have taken on four planning apprentices, including Graduate Planner Amy Powell (pictured left) who undertook her master’s degree-level apprenticeship having decided to pursue a career change - and Planning Technician Sam Biles (pictured right), who joined Edgars a year prior to the beginning of his apprenticeship, after finishing school and following a successful work experience placement within the organisation.
Edgars are currently in the process of recruiting up to 3 new Planning Apprentices to the organisation, offering a degree or master’s degree whilst learning and gaining experience on the job - with a highly competitive salary. Amy and Sam share their apprenticeship journeys, proving apprenticeships are unparalleled opportunities for everyone - not just school leavers - and share why they think their roles at Edgars have provided an experience like no other.
Amy said: “I am completing a Level 7 apprenticeship to become a Chartered Town Planner and thus I am completing a master’s degree in Chartered Town Planning at London South Bank University.
“I found my apprenticeship when looking at changing my career after 8 years in estate agency, as this provided the opportunity to complete a master’s degree and work at the same time in a role which was mutually supportive to both. I originally approached Jayne at Edgars when I had enrolled into a master’s degree at Brookes University and was fortunate to be able to transfer to the apprenticeship masters .
“Within my role I conduct background research for planning applications, write planning statements, provide project management support on larger projects and consult with clients and third parties to prepare planning applications.
“I am a more ‘mature’ apprentice (in my 30’s) and I believe apprenticeships are fantastic opportunities for young adults looking at starting their career, but also for adults of all ages who are looking at changing their career. Going back into education is not as daunting when it is supported through your day-to-day work and when you are being supported by your employer. Edgars is a passionate and extremely knowledgeable team - the wealth of experience is unparalleled, and I have learnt so much from them.”
Sam said: “I am doing a Chartered Town Planner apprenticeship and will be attending university for five years (I’ll be starting my third year in September), following which I am going to undertake my end-point assessment to become a Chartered Town Planner. So, in total my apprenticeship is around six years long.
“During my final year of school, I started visiting universities to figure out where I wanted to go after I’d completed my A-Levels and it quickly became evident that the traditional university route was not for me. This was because the courses I was looking at lacked the practical experience I was after and I wasn’t sure that the university lifestyle was for me.
“Instead I chose to do work experience, which was where I first met Jayne and the team at Edgars and got my first experience of the planning world. Jayne mentioned that they were a trailblazer for the emerging Chartered Town Planner apprenticeship and that it would be beginning within the next year or so, so I did some more research on what this would entail and decided that this was what I wanted to do next. So, after I finished school and got my A-Level results, I sent my CV to Edgars, where I was offered a position and worked for a year prior to the start of my apprenticeship.
“My colleagues are great people and really supportive which creates a lovely environment to work in as well as develop my career. It’s also worth mentioning the two office dogs, which are amazing stress relievers and a joy to be around!”
Do you know an inspiring apprentice who has really made a difference to your organisation? Or are you an apprentice employer providing unrivalled skills opportunities in Oxfordshire? The Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards 2022 will be launching later this year, so keep an eye on our website and social media channels to find out how you can enter or nominate those leading the way in apprenticeships.
Applications to the Graduate and Planning Apprenticeship vacancies close on Friday 24 September. Find out how to apply below: