Association for Project Management (APM) has been continuing to engage with students and advisers in schools, colleges and higher education institutions, despite the challenges posed by lockdown.
Virtual events took place during April and May for students at universities across England, with more scheduled for June.
The events had previously been planned as traditional ‘face-to-face’ gatherings, similar to previous APM events at colleges and universities. Due to coronavirus-related restrictions, technology was used to host virtual webinar-style events that students could attend safely. These events, which were organised by Caspar Bartington, head of volunteer and education engagement, and delivered in partnership with APM volunteers, covered topics including how to build diverse teams and the value of Chartered Project Professional status.
Caspar said: “The jobs market is very disrupted at the moment, so this is an opportunity for us to reassure people that project management is still a worthwhile career of first choice. It wasn’t technically difficult for us to switch to virtual events. It was more of a mindset change – for us and for universities.
“The events have gone really well and we’ve had good feedback. Some universities have recorded the discussions and are making them available to project management students who were unable to attend the live session. Others run their own podcasts and have invited us to take part in those, so the technology is opening doors, even with the challenges posed by coronavirus.
“They’re also helping people to increase their employability. With some summer placements no longer going ahead due to the coronavirus outbreak, taking an hour to hear what our profession is all about is a good way to increase employability.”
Alongside the virtual events, APM has also been sending regular updates to schools, colleges and universities, highlighting its free webinars, YouTube channel, Massive Open Online Course with the Open University and free Student membership.
“Since lockdown, we have reached out to apprentices and Chartered Project Professionals (ChPPs) to encourage them to create video content. Apprentices have been creating content for those at school, while the ChPP videos have been for a university audience. We have many of each and ChPPs from different sectors, companies and countries have contributed, which is great.”