Aston University’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences has welcomed the UK’s first cohort of Transport Planning degree apprentices this September.

The first cohort is made up of 15 apprentices from organisations across the UK including global engineering consultancies and local authorities. The majority of apprentices have recently completed their Level 3 Transport Planning Technician apprenticeship and the remaining new students are a mix of those who have joined Aston and their employer fresh from A Levels, and those with more experience who are ready for a new academic challenge. 

The programme, which was designed in close partnership with the Institute for Apprenticeships’ trailblazer group and TPS, will support apprentices to develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to become professional members of the Transport Planning community.

Aston University will teach the programme through a combination of on-campus sessions taught in blocks, complemented by online learning. The apprenticeship is taught over five years and is funded by the apprenticeship levy so apprentices have no tuition fees to pay.  Students will also be able to participate in the TPS Professional Development Scheme (PDS) at the same time, completing in around four years.  The degree apprenticeship has been designed with the help of TPS so that it is entirely consistent with the requirements of the PDS.  Once this is complete, graduates will have completed the Knowledge requirements of the Transport Planning Professional (TPP) qualification.

Keith Buchan, TPS Director for Skills said: “We are constantly working to create new pathways to transport planning qualifications at all levels and widen the opportunities for young people to enter our great profession.  Sustainability and diversity is at its heart and this is another step towards achieving our goal of raising skills and gaining wider recognition for the important work we do.”

Dr Lucy Rackliff, Course Director for the new programme said: ‘This is a really exciting step, for the transport planning profession, the students themselves, and for the university. The degree apprenticeship will develop highly skilled professionals whose expertise will be very much in demand as solutions are sought to transport system challenges such as improving sustainability and capacity whilst catering for the mobility needs of a diverse population.”

Full details about the new programme can be found on the course page and applications for the September 2020 cohort are open now.

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