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AECOM is recruiting for Town Planning opportunities, so apply!

AECOM is recruiting for Town Planning opportunities, so apply!

 September 20, 2022

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AECOM's town planning team is the largest infrastructure planning team in the UK. The team is currently working on some very large projects in the energy, water, rail and highways sectors, to name but a few. Key strengths of the team include leading multidisciplinary teams, community engagement, policy research, housing studies, development appraisals, Environmental Impact Assessment coordination and Listed Building Consents.  

AECOM is currently recruiting several positions across all levels in Town Planning. This is a great opportunity to carve out a role focussing on either business development, project management, people management or technical planning work, or a mixture of these.

AECOM and Where Women Work are shining a light on the AECOM Town Planning team by interviewing Emily Johnson, who is a Senior Town Planner at AECOM.

Emily discusses her favourite project, shares a top tip for working on large projects, and provides some great insight into the AECOM Town Planning team, including what she recently got involved with using her social value hours. 

How did you find yourself working in Town Planning? 

AECOM town planning jobs

"In year 10 at school, at the age of 15, I undertook a two-week work experience placement with the local council in Development Management. To put it simply, I was inspired! I was inspired by the fact that planners shape the area that they live in. I decided from there that I wanted to explore planning as a career. I went to the University of the West of England and studied an MPlan in Urban Planning, which was a full-time integrated Master’s degree, including a 1-year sandwich placement," explains Emily. 

How would you describe your job?

"I would describe my role as a consultant that looks at the constraints and opportunities, such as flooding, heritage, ecology impacts, etc., of a potential area for development," shares Emily.

"This might be an area for housing, a new railway overbridge, or other type of development. As well as working with developers to advise them of the development potential, I also coordinate a project team. The project team will consist of a variety of professions such as ecologists, flooding specialists, heritage experts, etc., to ensure that the correct information is prepared to support the planning application."

What do you like most about your role at AECOM?

Emily comments that she likes how varied the job can be. "We work with many different sectors, so each day is different. One day I could be assisting with the preparation of a Transport and Works Act Order and liaising with the project team to ensure we are on track for its delivery. The next day I could be writing a planning appraisal for a site to advise a developer of the planning potential for a 20-to-40-unit residential development."

What are some key strengths you regularly call upon in your role?

"Teamwork is a key strength plus the ability to use professional judgment and manage your own time on project work. Good written communication skills are also needed to write concise reports when preparing planning applications, and project management skills are required to coordinate project teams and prepare accurate project timelines," says Emily. 

What has been the most memorable moment in your career to date? 

AECOM town planning jobs

"Using my social value hours, I recently spent two days volunteering at Penny Brohn UK - Live Well With Cancer, which is a “live well with cancer” charity, where I spent the first day with other AECOM colleagues painting and decorating two of the office rooms at the facility, and the second day in the garden raking the wildflower meadow," Emily explains. 

"It is great that AECOM offers employees in the UK&I Social Value Hours (that is, up to 16 paid working hours which can be used towards volunteering activity which has a social impact). I was able to get to know other AECOM colleagues in a relaxed environment while also being able to give something back to the charity. We were also lucky enough to have a tour of the grounds and find out about the excellent work that the charity is doing to fundraise for their facility," she says. 

What is your favourite project you have worked on and why?

"My favourite project is the Transpennine Route Upgrade, East of Leeds. My involvement relates to working on a Transport and Works Act Order. The works will contribute to the overall Transpennine Upgrade which will involve electrifying the line between York and Church Fenton. This is my favourite project because the work has been varied and allowed me to demonstrate my abilities through liaison with the project team, project management, presentation skills and team working," shares Emily. 

Any top tips for working on large projects? 

"My top tip would be to make sure you introduce yourself to the project team at an early stage to ensure everyone knows who you are and what your role is. Plus, make sure you attend project meetings, read up on meeting notes and ask as many questions as you can to ensure you fully understand the project," says Emily. 

Why do you enjoy working in the Town Planning team at AECOM?

"Quite simply, the people! Each team member offers a wide variety of skills and perspectives that help both with project work and day-to-day work," Emily explains. 

"Each AECOM office also has a Sport and Social Committee which allows you to build connections with other colleagues outside your team, this could be through a running club, cinema club or just a drink at a local bar, for example."

What does Freedom to Grow mean to you? And how do you use it?

"Freedom to Grow allows me the flexibility to start work a bit later, finish earlier or have a bit of time-off in the day, enabling me to do things that improve my mental health, such as gym classes or lunchtime walks. This gives me a bit of extra time for myself and ensures that I can bring my best self to work," says Emily. 

What's your top tip for people looking to join the Town Planning team at AECOM? 

Emily says that AECOM is a great place to work with a vast range of exciting projects. "There are opportunities to explore different sectors in planning such as residential, energy, transport and many others depending on your interests," says Emily.

"AECOM has a good selection of training programmes to allow you to be your best self, along with an early careers development programme for those beginning their career journey. Our Planning team also have an Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) support group, for those that need support either through a mentor or Continued Professional Development (CPD)," she explains. 

"There are core benefits such as Freedom to Grow and social value hours that allow employees to bring their best selves to work. If there are questions you have on projects or other AECOM queries, there are always people on hand to answer them and offer support to you in your day-to-day work."

What are you looking forward to in the future?

AECOM town planning jobs

Emily says she is wanting to get involved in several exciting projects in her local area (the South West of England) in the residential, transport and energy sectors. She is also looking forward to utilising her social value hours next year and continuing to volunteer at Penny Brohn. 

What are some of your favourite ways to spend your free time?

Emily likes to explore and go for walks in the countryside or by the seaside. "You will also find me listening to a podcast and catching up with friends and family, particularly my Grandma who tends to have a new story about the war whenever I go and see her!"

Looking for a town planing job?

Become part of this amazing team today!

Want to join one of the UK’s largest planning consultancies and work on a range of challenging projects?

Then apply for a Town Planning job at AECOM.


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