Skills manifesto: An agenda for skills investment
The Association for Project Management (APM) is the Chartered body for the project profession and its vision is to create a world in which all projects succeed. In today’s society, we need to deliver more for less and in these extraordinary times we need to manage change effectively, efficiently and to capitalise on the opportunities available while driving forward new and innovative achievements.
Underpinning APM’s Manifesto is the need to strengthen the transition from education into work by providing a good skills grounding to build upon – both vocational and academic – whilst empowering the next generation to make informed career choices.
A key challenge is identifying current and likely skills gaps across all trades and professions, such as project management, to help deliver future prosperity and growth. Our Manifesto outlines how APM and the project management profession are embracing the next generation by driving forward an agenda for skills investment.
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:
- A stable policy framework - resist the temptation to continually tinker with skills policy
- Apprenticeships - work with industry and professional bodies to further promote the benefits to employers and potential apprentices
- Professional bodies recognition - make better use of the UK’s expertise and experience
- Create and maintain an audit of UK current and future skills deficits
- Stronger core skills - improve literacy and numeracy of those leaving our secondary education system
- Improved careers guidance - providing support to develop this process for the young workforce
- 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.