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Uni students Archie and Reuben gain valuable experience form Stonebridge Homes colleagues

Site visit with land and planning team

Work experience for Uni students Archie and Reuben

Currently in his second year of a Human Geography and Planning degree, Archie Brewer has been working with Stonebridge Homes’ planning colleagues, and in particular, Senior Planner, Katie Purdam. As part of his degree, Archie, and his fellow students, have been offered the chance to work with a variety of clients whilst also studying for their bachelor’s degree at Leeds Beckett University.

Archie comments “I’ve really enjoyed spending time with Stonebridge Homes. I’ve mostly worked with the planning team, but I’ve also liaised with their land and legal departments, and I’ve visited site to see how a development comes together and what challenges they are facing.

“The theory I am learning at university is completely relevant to the tasks I have been involved with at Stonebridge - it’s invaluable hands-on experience. No day here is dull, and I’ve been surprised at how interesting it is. I’ve been looking at planning conditions, site appraisals, and even the early stages like planning consultations that developers undertake to see what local communities want.”

Before coming to Stonebridge, Archie wasn’t sure what to expect. Reflecting on his time with us he added “I love that the work experience gives me the opportunity to work across the whole house building journey from buying land to building houses. Stonebridge is all about teamwork and it’s great to be able to meet with different people from different backgrounds who ultimately come together to create new communities and places where people want to live”.

Katie also mentors Reuben Berriman, a third-year student on the same course as Archie, through the STEER Mentoring Programme. While Katie was completing her undergraduate degree in Geography, she wasn’t sure of the career path to pursue. It was through her degree that she was introduced to the world of planning. Katie went on to complete a Masters in Town and Country Planning from the University of Manchester and is pleased to be able to provide others with guidance and work experience in the early stages of their careers.

Katie commented: “I don’t think many students know about planning and how exciting and rewarding a career in this area can be. I kind of fell into planning and it’s a great profession. I really enjoy helping Archie and Reuben as they’re both engaged and motivated and it’s great to see new students coming into the industry. Archie is very personable, and he asks lots of relevant questions; we’ve not given him the easy things to do either! From my perspective I’ve felt supported at every step of my career journey with Stonebridge. It’s shown me where my career can take me, and it’s a very rewarding place to be. I’m sure both Reuben and Archie will have success wherever their next steps take them”.

Dr David Haigh, Head of Planning, Housing and Geography at the Leeds Planning School said” Archie is a very diligent and tenacious student. Obtaining a university degree is about much more than attending lectures and passing assignments. Students must develop a set of skills that sets them apart when they enter the labour market. Developing planning skills has been a central component of Archie’s studies but applying this in the real world is what really counts. Archie has been afforded a fantastic work placement opportunity at Stonebridge Homes which has really helped him develop his confidence and put into practice some of his classroom learning. As well as working for Stonebridge, Archie has had mock interviews, developed his CV and LinkedIn account to help him prepare for the workplace, for all of which he has done very well indeed. I am extremely pleased Archie has done well and he has enjoyed his time at Stonebridge Homes; he has gained a lot from it. For Stonebridge Homes, huge thanks are owed as they are helping us by working in partnership, to develop planners of tomorrow.”

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