University: Cardiff University – Msc Sustainability, Planning and Environmental Policy
My current placement sits within the Major Capital Programme Team based in Invicta House. The team focuses on delivering fundamental and vitally important pieces of infrastructure to improve the connectivity and functionality of communities within Kent. The team is largely responsible for projects which are too large to be funded using local council funds. Therefore, the team must secure the necessary funds from developers, central government funding pots and other external funding sources. This placement correlates with my previous placement as the conditions of the S106 and S278 agreements signed at the planning application stage will be designed, implemented and managed by members of my current team. There is therefore connectivity between the work I have previously undertaken and the work I will be assisting with.
My current role involves work in two main areas, the first being assisting with the further development of the full Fastrack Bus Network; mainly centered around the Bean Road tunnels, which will see the rapid bus transport network expanded within the Kent Thameside area. The second is the Local Growth Fund (LGF), KCC as part of the South Eastern Local Enterprise Programme (SELEP) are able to bid for a portion of the £570 million of central government allocated to the area. Currently there is some funding that remains unallocated or cannot be spent before the March 2021 deadline. Therefore, my project is helping to identify and shortlist potential schemes that could benefit from this additional funding. This work will be vital to ensuring that KCC can secure potential funding to improve the connectivity and standard of living for communities across Kent.
Why I applied for the Kent Graduate Programme - Highways, Transport and Waste Stream
I chose the Highways Transportation and Waste (HTW) stream because of my interest in how places are connected, and subsequently the transportation networks that aid and allow this freedom of movement. This interest was fostered during my time at university and when examining the range of options available to me, the relevance of the Kent Graduate HTW Stream appealed to me.
Another draw of the programme was the opportunity to move around placements and gain a greater exposure to how different departments within the transport and waste sectors operate. This was particularly important to me, because the opportunity to explore different areas will assist me in choosing a career path, that I not only find interesting but also have relevant experience in.
I was attracted to the KCC Graduate Programme because of the range of benefits offered by the scheme; benefits including the ability to study for recognised management and project management qualifications, which will be transferable to my everyday work. The programme includes various training opportunities and the council invests a lot of time into your personal development to assist you on your future career path. Subsequently, people respect the graduates and that is a major draw of the programme.