A Planning and Climate Change Officer Can See the Wood for The Trees After Her Apprenticeship Grew into A Permanent Post

DARLINGTON College level 3 apprentice in business administration Charlotte Nettleton has secured a job with Richmondshire District Council as a planning information and climate change assistant.

The 22-year-old, of Richmond, works on planning matters such as tree preservation and enforcement matters, as well as a range of climate change projects, after completing an 18 month apprenticeship on which she was able to earn and learn, thereby avoiding student debt.

“It is something different every day and I love it,” said Charlotte, who is hoping to continue her learning at degree level.

“I tried reading English and history at Nottingham University just as COVID struck but I found it very isolating so left after six weeks. I knew what I wanted to do and an apprenticeship was definitely the best way for me.

“I was a bit worried about going back to college but it was great chatting to other apprentices and gaining experience on the job. There were four of us from the council and it was also great mixing with other apprentices and swapping tips they’d picked up from their jobs.

“The council paid for the course and I got paid to take it, while the Darlington College lecturers were all great, so helpful and approachable and what they taught us was eye-opening. I loved being thrown in the deep end, it was very rewarding.”

Charlotte now divides her time supporting the planning team and working to combat climate change.

“Planning is great because you get to know first what is going on,” said Charlotte, who in her spare time enjoys creative writing.

“Climate change is massive, it’s everywhere and so interesting. It sometimes feels hard being that small voice because there is no heavy legislation yet to support it. You can feel you are in a losing battle but it is exciting trying to build a trend, reminding everyone what is in their power to reduce their carbon footprints. I love a challenge and if there is an opportunity to study a degree that would be great.”

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