Para Planner Cadet Program announced in South Australia to help bridge skills gap in the built environment professions
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  • The program will commence in 2024 and run for 2.5 years.
  • Cadets will gain valuable work experience while undertaking a Diploma in Local Government (Planning) through TAFE SA.
  • The Para Planner Cadet program is open to all people under 21, including high school leavers regardless of ATAR results.

The South Australian state government has announced the Para Planner Cadet Program, a new initiative to drive interest in young South Australians to become para planners.

“Urban and regional planners play an important role in actively shaping our state to help create liveable and sustainable communities,” said Minister Nick Champion, MP.

“Addressing the shortage in planners will help South Australia tackle critical challenges such as housing affordability, population growth, and the transition to a more sustainable future.

“The Para Planner Cadet program provides a significant opportunity for agencies, councils and consulting firms to increase their resources and improve their services at a time when the industry is crying out for more planners.”

The pilot program will be led by the Planning and Land Use Services (PLUS) in the Department for Trade and Investment, and is a collaborative effort between the Department for Education, TAFE SA and the Planning Institute of Australia – SA.

Who’s eligible and what’s involved?

Running for two and a half years, the program will commence in 2024, with cadets gaining work experience while undertaking a Diploma in Local Government (Planning) through TAFE SA.

The Para Planner Cadet program is open to all people under 21, including high school leavers regardless of ATAR results and offers a hands-on, practical approach to workforce development.

“This hands-on, practical initiative has been designed to relieve the current pressures on planning teams and provides a path for participating employers to support young talent,” said Champion.

“The Para Planner Cadet program is an opportunity for school leavers and young people to consider a rewarding career which puts you at the fore of building and planning South Australia for the future.”

Taking pressure off local governments

“Our state is experiencing rapid residential growth, with increased demand for new housing placing greater strain on councils when processing development applications and other associated workloads,” said Local Government Association president, Mayor Dean Johnson.

“To ensure sustainable, desirable development in our communities our councils need to be properly staffed and resourced, and the Para Planner Cadet Program will provide a much-needed pathway for more qualified local planners to enter the workforce.

“The best planning outcomes are achieved when councils are part of the conversation, and this initiative is another example of local and state government working together to tackle the housing availability and affordability issues we’re currently seeing across South Australia.”

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