New graduate coarse for transport planners


A new graduate scheme has been launched by a private transport consultancy to help young talent prepare for working on major national projects.

The two-year course gives hands-on experience and has proven popular with applications coming in from over 100 graduates before the entry deadline closed last month.

Transport planning specialist Phil Jones Associates (PJA), which launched the scheme, said they wanted to help attract young talent in Birmingham and Reading to counteract the skills shortage in the sector and brain drain in the wider region.

It includes studies in:

- Development Planning: preparing reports to support planning applications submissions such as Transport Assessments and Travel Plans.

- Traffic Engineering: preparing preliminary junction designs and safety schemes.

- GIS Modelling: undertaking analysis and preparing maps and diagrams using online GIS software.

- Junction Modelling: using specialist software packages such VISSIM, PARAMICS, LINSIG and Junctions 8 to understand the future capacity of the highway network.

- Cycling: designing and advising on the implementation of cycle infrastructure.

- Public Transport: developing public transport strategies to improve existing provision and support future development schemes.

Director Nigel Millington said: 'It is well known that Birmingham is the youngest city in Europe: with under 25s accounting for nearly 40% of our population. We have over 400 schools, 15 universities and three university colleges within one hour’s drive of the city and yet we believe there is still a brain drain to the capital with young graduates looking to London firms to progress their careers.

'Likewise in Reading, we feel there is a dearth of candidates that meet our requirements and so have taken the opportunity to mould our own.

'PJA has ambitious expansion plans and we see our graduates as being a major part of our future success, training them up to work to our exacting standards and giving them both the technical experience in software modelling packages as well as experience in how to successfully promote the transport benefits of development schemes through the planning process. Over 100 applicants signed up and we will now interview for placements to start in Summer/Autumn 2015 in both our Birmingham and Reading offices.'

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