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A great way to get hands-on work experience, while you gain a formal qualification

Kirsty’s Story

Kirsty tells us about her journey into the Planning Inspectorate through an apprenticeship.

Apprenticeships are an exciting opportunity to gain both paid experience and a qualification. It’s a chance to learn on the job, meet a variety of new people and be supported within an inclusive environment along the way.

Not only do you get paid for your work experience, but you also study at the same time; no student loans necessary! The qualifications available to you can be anything from A-levels to as high as a Master’s degree – your ambition is the only limit.

As an apprentice, you can easily manage time for working and learning. Both part-time and full-time apprentices are required to put a minimum of 20% (capped at 6 hours) of your working hours to study, allowing you to put your learning into practice.

You don’t have to be a certain age or just out of education to do an apprenticeship. It’s a great way to kickstart or explore a new career, gaining ‘on the job’ knowledge in real-time with hands-on experience.

Furthermore, you are not limited to one path. Our apprenticeship programmes allow you to be flexible, giving you the choice to have a say in how your apprenticeship develops.

What apprenticeships are offered at the Planning Inspectorate?

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The Inspectorate offers a variety of apprenticeships such as:

  • Business Administration
  • Team Leader
  • Operations Manager
  • Finance
  • Human Resources
  • Project Management
  • Planning (Level 7 RTPI)
  • and many more, subject to available vacancies

Advanced apprenticeships (level 3) are equivalent to two A-levels.

These apprenticeships are an excellent starting point for those who are starting their first job, coming back to work after a break or for those who are looking for a career change.

You will not usually need any previous qualifications to be eligible for these apprenticeships, however in most cases, if you do not have GCSE grade C/4 or above in Maths and English, you will be supported to complete a qualification alongside the apprenticeship.

Higher apprenticeships range from a level 4 to a level 7 and are equivalent to a foundation degree and above. Degree apprenticeships are available at levels 6 and 7 and are equivalent to a full bachelor’s and Master’s.

These apprenticeships are most suited to those who have already completed a previous lower qualification on the same or similar subject, those with a reasonable amount of experience in the profession and taking the next step in their career or graduates who are looking to continue their learning where the apprenticeship will offer substantial new learning.

Eligibility for these apprenticeships can vary between the different courses. Some may require specific qualifications and others a specific amount of experience in the industry.

a diverse group of colleagues huddle around a laptop

“Having completed a BSc in Architecture, I was interested in the built environment but no longer wished to pursue architecture as a career.

The Chartered Town Planner Apprenticeship was a game-changer for me. It allowed me to continue working and studying simultaneously without compromising on my earnings.

The wide breadth of planning experience I gained at The Planning Inspectorate has enriched my learning in a way I wouldn’t have achieved through full-time study alone.”

Chartered Town Planner Apprenticeship Level 7

two colleagues sitting opposite eachother in a break-out zone looking at a laptop

“Being an apprentice allowed me to work in a variety of roles and gain invaluable experience while also earning a qualification.

The combination of working and learning created a solid foundation for my future career. I think apprenticeships are a brilliant way to start or progress your career, and I would highly recommend them to anybody.”

Business Admin Apprenticeship Level 3

“I am early in the second term of a 2-year level 7 apprenticeship and really enjoying it.

The workload can feel intense alongside work and family but the flexible way that the distance learning takes place makes it possible.

It’s wonderful that employers will give you consistent and substantial time away from work responsibilities to gain a qualification. I feel very fortunate to have this support to invest in my own development.”

Senior Leader Apprenticeship Level 7

Is an apprenticeship right for me?

Before applying for an apprenticeship, you may want to take a moment to consider if they are right for you.

  • you must be over 16
  • spend at least 50% of your working hours in England
  • have the right to work in the UK and have been ordinarily resident in the UK for 3 consecutive years before starting the apprenticeship
  • be able to work a minimum of 30 hours a week
  • be able to manage your studying alongside of your day-to-day work
  • be motivated to learn
  • be willing to manage your time effectively


How do I apply?

All our apprenticeship jobs are advertised on Civil Service Jobs. Why not subscribe to our job alerts to ensure you never miss an apprenticeship opportunity! (Note – you will need to create an account in the Civil Service Jobs portal to sign up for apprenticeships alerts).

Need help with your application? Learn how to structure your CV and personal statement by navigating the Civil Service Success Profiles.

What makes me eligible for an apprenticeship?

You must also meet all of the eligibility criteria listed on each role (nationality, residency and other requirements). These can be different for specific roles, so check carefully. 

What qualifications do I need?

The qualifications required will be dependent on the apprenticeship you are applying for and will be listed on each role.

Don’t forget, it isn’t just about qualifications, we will also be looking for your willingness to learn, your passion for the profession and if you have any transferable skills that you could bring to the role.

I already hold qualifications that are above an A-level. Can I still apply?

To apply for an apprenticeship, you must not hold an existing qualification at the same or higher level in a similar subject. So, in some cases you can still apply for an apprenticeship even if you have a degree in an unrelated subject.

In some roles we may state that graduates cannot apply, therefore it is best to carefully read the eligibility requirements to ensure you are eligible.

What will I earn?

Our apprenticeship starting salary will be dependent on the apprenticeship role you apply for.

The minimum starting salary is £20,172 as of April 2024.

Can I apply if I am an international applicant?

Yes, although apprentices must live and be eligible to work in the UK. The key requirements are:

·       Have the right to live and work in the UK
·       Must have been a resident in the UK/EA/EEA continuously for 3 years prior to the apprenticeship start date

Full details about eligibility can be found on the apprenticeship funding rules website.

Find out more about what it’s like to work for the Planning Inspectorate

Look on Civil Service Jobs
for all our Planning Inspectorate career opportunities

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