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From student apprentice to planning officer

7 February 2022

Hard work and dedication paid off for former student Benjamin Marshall, who has seen his career develop dramatically from his time at Chichester College, which started almost seven years ago.

After studying A-levels, he turned to a new Town Planning Apprenticeship to kick-start his career – and with the support of the staff on a well-developed apprenticeship programme, he was given the tools he needed to get to where he is today. 

Now Benjamin stands proud as a planning officer for Guildford Borough Council, but it was not until he reflected on his studies that he realised just how far he has come. 
Tell us about your career… 
I’ve worked as a planning officer within the development management team at Guildford Borough Council since May 2021. I’m responsible for recommending decisions on applications and providing advice to prospective applicants. The area we cover includes a variety of land classifications, including Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Sites of Special Scientific Importance – this diversity means I’m in the ideal place to grow my knowledge.  
What role to Chichester College play in your journey to where you are today? 
The college kicked off my direct work experience at Worthing Council, which showed me a real insight into a behind the scenes at local councils. 

I enjoyed such a wide variety of lessons throughout my apprenticeship and way my apprenticeship worked allowed me to experience so many different fields within the course and opened up so many routes. 
I started at Chichester College as an A-level students, but soon realised my original dream of becoming a pilot would be out of reach due to the financial cost. So, I needed to consider other routes once I finished my A-levels and my passion for geography is what attracted me to the town planning and building side of local councils. 

From this discovery, I then took on my Level 3 Town Planning Technical Support apprenticeship. 
What did you enjoy the most about your time here as a student at the college? Any favourite memory?  
A positive memory for me is reflecting upon all the hard work I put into the apprenticeship and putting the knowledge into my job today. 

Another proud reflection moment is when I return to Durrington High School, where I studied so many years ago to give talks on my career path and how I got to this point today. 

What do you think of the facilities/staff? 
For me my amazing mentor – Kim Hunt really stood out. She was one of those strict yet kind people who made you feel rewarded for keeping on track constantly.  

What achievements since leaving college are you most proud of? 
My proudest achievement since leaving the college would probably be when I was nominated and became a finalist for apprentice of the year at the Sussex Business Awards in 2019. 

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