We established the PLACED Academy in 2019 as a free to access programme of creative learning that would develop young people’s skills, increase self-belief and create empowered, confident young citizens who believe their view matters. Through the Academy, we also aim to support greater diversity in the built environment sector, essential if we are to develop more representative, understanding professionals. 

We launched with a ten-month, face-to-face programme, which ran from July 2019-May 2020, followed by two Digital Academy programmes from July to December 2020, developed in response to Covid-19. We have recently completed our fourth Academy, the Environmental Academy, which was delivered online in 2021.

Our participants have taken part in design workshops, skill sessions, mentoring, 1-2-1 support and work experience developing significant skills. They have shared their views on projects and plans, from regeneration schemes to Spatial Development Strategies, gaining confidence from having their voices heard by decision makers. They have led their own community engagement campaign about how design in the built environment can help to tackle climate change.

Throughout, they have been supported by our talented, diverse volunteer Ambassadors – professionals and students – who have given them a truly unique insight into the wide range of careers in the built environment.

To date, 119 young people aged 14-19 have graduated from the programme. The impact outlined below is for the first three Academies, and will be refreshed on full evaluation of the recent Environmental Academy programme.

Participants have become confident, informed young people able to think creatively, solve problems and develop ideas. The programmes have helped to open doors and increase awareness of the range of careers available.

You can read the full evaluation reports providing more detail of the impact of the Academy by clicking the links below.

The Academy programmes have only been possible due to the generous support of our Partners and Sponsors. We are extremely grateful to their support in the development and delivery of the Academy. Below are all those who have Partnered with us or Sponsored one or more programmes to date.

This is just the beginning of the Academy. We are excited to launch the Environmental Academy in 2021, which not only allows us to explore an urgent conversation which is high on many young peoples’ agendas, but to expand the outreach of the programme to include community engagement. To find out how you can get involved and help us to make better places together visit our Support the Academy page. To apply to the programme, please visit our Apply page.


academy SPONSORS