APM’s Skills Manifesto – An agenda for skills investment

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As a society and as a profession we now face a different set of challenges – whether it’s preparing for Brexit, reacting to the rapidly changing world order and its consequences, or the march of new technology and its implications, or indeed many other challenges of the modern era.

Ahead of the June General Election, the Association for Project Management has identified seven policy issues that the next government will need to tackle to ensure UK is well positioned to develop and maintain the skills base required to compete on the global stage:

Call to action:

  1. A stable policy framework - resist the temptation to continually tinker with skills policy
  2. Apprenticeships - work with industry and professional bodies to further promote the benefits to employers and potential apprentices
  3. Professional bodies recognition - make better use of the UK’s expertise and experience
  4. Create and maintain an audit of UK current and future skills deficits
  5. Stronger core skills - improve literacy and numeracy of those leaving our secondary education system
  6. Improved careers guidance - providing support to develop  this process for the young workforce
  7. Invest in digital skills

We need a period of stability in the skills framework, with so much uncertainty in today’s world, we need to manage change effectively, efficiently and to capitalise on the opportunities available to develop the next generation of project professionals and equip them with the skills for the future.

As the new Chartered body for the project profession, APM understands the importance of developing and retaining the best project management talent in the country, to meet the growing public demand for projects, programmes and portfolios that not only deliver lasting benefits to society, but also provide lasting legacies.

We want project management to be a career of first choice and with the award of chartered status, we can offer a clear professional development route and provide assurance of standards and professionalism, based on the APM FIVE dimensions of professionalism.

Not only do we need to develop talent for the future but we need to work with government and other professional bodies to ensure that the next generation are equipped with the core skills required and given clear guidance and support through careers advice.

As a profession we have already built a strong foundation through supporting the employer-led trailblazer apprenticeship – one of the first in the country which was launched last year in the House of Commons. 

Underpinning this is the need to strengthen the transition from education into work. Providing a good skills grounding to build upon (vocational and academic are equally valuable), and empowering the next generation to make informed career choices are key components.

As technology continues to drive change and functions are increasingly automated, we need to invest in digital skills and cannot assume the ‘born digital’ generation will naturally adapt. Frighteningly, with one child in five still leaving primary school without reaching expected standards in reading, writing, and maths combined, more work is clearly still required to provide our children with the grounding in the basics, including project management, to create the workforce of the future. APM has outlined it's agenda for skills development in the APM Skills Manifesto.

Download the APM Skills Manifesto

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Posted by John McGlynn on 12th May 2017

About the Author

John McGlynn, APM chair

John is a director at Atkins, one of the worlds leading design, engineering and project management consultancies known for its breadth and depth of expertise in responding to the most technically challenging and time critical projects. He has 30 years experience of delivering projects in Europe and the Middle East and the last decade he specialised in complex acquisition programmes. He is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of three institutions the IET, CIPS, APM and is an APM Registered Project Professional (RPP).

He co-chairs the joint working group between APM and the UK International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE UK) looking at ways project managers and system engineers can work together to deliver better programme outcomes through doing the right things at the start of projects and then doing things right through project and programme delivery. He believes that complex projects need both managerial and technical leaders who understand each others needs and can work in an integrated way.

John is an avid supporter of APMs 2020 Strategy and aims to ensure he does all he can to represent members interests in achieving this. He believes APM has done an outstanding job in professionalising the discipline of project management throughout its 40 year history and is passionate about continuing that journey, pushing the boundaries of collective knowledge particularly in the delivery of complex projects.

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