Reflecting on the Insights programme

We have just come to the end of our PLACED Academy Insights programme, a new series of free online events for people aged 13-19 interested in careers in design and the built environment, and what a success it has been!

When a second national lockdown and closure of schools and colleges was announced in early January, we understood the impact this would have on our young people, and in particular on opportunities for work experience. We felt compelled to do what we could to connect those interested in a career in the built environment with industry professionals in some way. We reached out to our fantastic ambassador network and with thanks to their incredible support, were able to host nine free online Q&A sessions. These zoom webinars presented an opportunity for young people to hear from a panel of professionals, learn more about the range of opportunities and pathways into the sector as well as ask some of their burning questions.

A total of 28 inspirational speakers at all stages in their careers took part in the programme, from recent planning graduates to architects heading up national design practices. At each event, our panel gave insight into their job, shared some of their work, talked about their career journey, successes and challenges and offered some invaluable tips. Throughout the programme, a total of 364 young people from across England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales zoomed in to hear industry professionals debunk myths, challenge misconceptions, and open their minds to the different opportunities out there and available to them.

“It was really inspiring and educating. It was inclusive and was nice to know that there are successful people in a field I want to go into who were, at one point, in my position.”

Insights attendee, Diversity in the built environment

With a total of 126 questions asked and a 92% satisfaction rate from our feedback surveys across all events, we can conclude that the young people valued this opportunity to hear from and connect with those already in the working world. 98% said they would recommend the sessions with many commenting that they felt “more informed”, “inspired”, “confident” and “reassured” after attending an event.

All of the events were recorded and can be found on the Insights Videos link here.

We are delighted with the feedback from our participants, and we hope you enjoyed it as much as us!

“I feel reassured and now know to just do what I love.”

Insights attendee, What’s it like to be an Architect?