Relate, democratise, transform: opening doors to project management for young people

The original Road to Chartered series investigated many of the themes that should be important to a chartered body – for example, diversity, ethics and thought leadership.

The first of an occasional second series of Chartered papers looks both forward and back at the issue of engagement. For nearly every organisation, and indeed some entire professions, there is a constant need to be visible and relatable to those making their post-education decisions. Professional bodies such as APM have the ‘helicopter view’ of how a profession is perceived and, naturally, high-level views of what can be done to effect positive change on attitudes of those making career decisions for themselves – as well as those helping others to do so.

The project profession, thanks in part to its Royal Charter and its recent Chartered Project Professional (ChPP) designation, has appeal to students from a broad range of subject backgrounds. At this exciting time, with talk of project leadership also increasing along with the recognition of the contribution made to business by project professionals, it is important to be vocal about who can be a project professional; where one can be a project professional; and why one should be a project professional.

Over the last year, APM has started its journey of giving the project profession its own light, rather than being part of a STEM-focused event. New, vibrant guidance for students; a broadening of the Student membership base; running events for students from any subject background; and building apprentice and graduate ambassador networks – these have all made it easier for students, teachers and careers professionals to see a richer picture of projects.

This paper does not claim to have all the answers – indeed, it poses questions at the end such as the importance of data in shaping an attractive profession for the future, and challenges the reader to consider what else can be done to reach out to the future workforce. We hope you enjoy it.  

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