Search results:

Nationwide, UK
at Public Practice

Public Practice is seeking built environment practitioners to join its programme in London and the wider south east of England.

Who we are

Public Practice is a not-for-profit social enterprise with a mission to improve the quality and equality of everyday places. We do this by building the public sector’s capacity for proactive planning, transforming perceptions of public service, and rethinking the way we plan through practice. We select outstanding built environment experts – associates – for year-long placements within forward-thinking public organisations – authorities. Associates are given unique place-based roles to deliver change on the ground, alongside industry-leading training and development.

What we offer

Public Practice places associates in public organisations: local or city government, combined authorities, development corporations, publicly-led delivery vehicles, or groups of more than one authority sharing a role. Authorities compete to host placements, so we only work with progressive and ambitious organisations that can offer you the right conditions for proactive planning. Our recruitment process is competitive, and the standards are high. If selected, you will join a cohort of associates that is diverse in terms of disciplines, ages and backgrounds, and united by a commitment to working for the public good.

90% of your time will be spent working for your host authority, with the remaining 10% dedicated to working as a cohort on collective research and development, overseen by Public Practice. This will include a week-long induction course, a cutting-edge research programme, personal development and mentoring from leading practitioners. At the end of your placement, you will be supported to find routes into permanent roles within the public sector and will become a member of our alumni network.

The role

Public Practice placements are opportunities to make a direct difference to everyday places, as well as change the system from within. These are not standard job descriptions. Roles range from starting-up a housebuilding programme to trialling co-design with tenants; from reshaping the masterplan for a garden town to rethinking an authority’s approach to small sites; or from transforming last-mile logistics to helping a high street adapt to ecommerce. They may involve connecting different departments, trialling new digital tools, or making minor tweaks to policies with far-reaching consequences. We match associates to authorities based on what you can offer a role, and what the role can offer you.

Beyond your own placement, the research and development programme offers you the opportunity to build your organisation’s capacity for proactive planning. You will help to empower and embolden colleagues to develop new ways of working. And beyond your own organisation, Public Practice gives you the chance to change wider perceptions of public planning. Through your advocacy, you will influence industry leaders, policymakers and practitioners to reimagine public planning and realise its potential as an agent of change.

Who you are

Public Practice is recruiting outstanding built environment experts who are interested in working for the public good. You may be looking for a new career challenge, an alternative route into the public sector, a temporary secondment to experience working in the built environment from a different perspective or to give something back towards the end of your career.

You may be a planner, surveyor, architect, urban designer, project manager, regeneration or historic environment expert – or you may not fit into any one of those categories. The first Public Practice cohort had an emphasis on design, but we are equally keen to receive applications from practitioners with expertise in development and delivery.

We have no fixed requirements in terms of your qualifications, background or age, but we do expect associates to have a minimum of three years experience in practice. There is no upper limit. We want our cohorts to be diverse in terms of skills, experience, and backgrounds. We are keen to encourage applications from sections of the community that are under-represented in the built environment sector, in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, faith or disability.


We ask for our associates to make a 12-month commitment to Public Practice, from 1 April 2019 – 31 March 2020, either via a fixed-term contract with their authority, or a secondment agreement between their authority and current employer.


You will be willing to consider a full-time-equivalent salary of 30,000 – £60,000 depending on the seniority of the role and your experience.


You will be willing to consider placements at an authority within London, the south east or east of England. You will need to have the legal right to work in the UK from April 2019 to April 2020.

How to apply

To apply, please click here to complete our online application form  

Applications close at midday on Monday 26 November 2018.
If your application is successful, you will be invited to a placement workshop on 8 or 9 January 2019.

Further information 

For more information, see our website to view our prospectus for associates and FAQs.

  • Applications have closed.