Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Planners Convert from Amber Nectar to Mead

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Planners Convert from Amber Nectar to Mead

Article excerpt

Byline: By Ross Smith

For years they have supplied us with chilled lager, daytime soap operas and Dame Edna Everage.

Now a North council is going Down Under to try to draft in qualified staff to plug gaps in its workforce.

And if the scheme proves a success, people in Berwick could soon find their applications for new conservatories or extensions being dealt with by a team of Australians.

The council found it was up against a national shortage of qualified planners in the UK when it needed to fill gaps in the department.

A recruitment agency supplied temporary staff from Australia, where the planning system is similar to England's.

Now the council has turned its focus down under to recruit a permanent member of staff. Council chief executive Jane Pannell said: "We have before temporarily employed, through an agency, a number of Australian planners as an interim arrangement because planning in England and Australia is very similar. …

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