The New Project Management Apprenticeships

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The author spent the first part of her career working in IT and IT Project Management in the oil industry and investment banking on complex global projects involving the management of outsourced project teams. She now runs a digital marketing company with particular expertise in technical SEO and Content Marketing.

The project management profession is going from strength to strength – it is recognised internationally with a range of professional qualifications and now here in the UK a Royal Charter was granted at the end of 2016 meaning it is now a chartered profession much like accountancy or engineering. Typically the most common way to become a project manager was to progress into it following several years in a particular industry or field. It had not usually been a direct career choice straight out of university.

But from April this year there will be the opportunity to embark on a project management career straight out of school for those choosing not to go to university (which young people are doing in increasing numbers). This is due to the new Government levy due to come into force them that will encourage major employers to support their young employees in continuing to learn in the workplace and seek professional qualifications through the new Project Management Apprenticeships.

This is one of the new breed of Higher Apprenticeships which are a route to much wider career opportunities and can lead to degree-level qualifications and recognised accreditation such as chartered status as a project management professional.


The New Apprenticeship Levy

With a goal to improve productivity in UK-based companies the government’s objective is  3 million more apprenticeships in England by the year 2020 and they are doing this by introducing an Apprenticeship Levy as of April 2017 for large employers. These employers can offset the levy amount by training more apprentices.


Project Management Apprenticeship


This Level 4 Higher Apprentice programme takes between 18 months and 2 years to complete during which the apprentice will learn skills as already defined by the Association for Project Management (APM) which underpin their suite of professional qualifications.

The apprentice will gain on-the-job experience and receive professional training. A higher apprenticeship develops a higher level of skills and results in higher qualifications which can eventually lead to chartered status.

This is a great opportunity for young people to get into a growing, modern-day profession without the cost of a university education. To join the scheme you would need at least 2 A levels and at the end of the apprenticeship the candidates would achieve the internationally recognised APM Project Management Qualification (APM PMQ).

The Advantages to Employer and Apprentice


Employers will benefit from training their young employees in best practise project management skills which will improve delivery of al of their projects. They can attract bright and enthusiastic people in a cost-effective way and it has been shown that well-trained staff result in a much lower staff turnover so they will continue to benefit from the apprentices’ skills long after they have completed the training course.

Apprentices will benefit by rapidly learning industry best practice skills that are in high demand and command higher than average salaries. The skills they learn are transferable to other fields and industries, for instance, leadership, procurement, planning and prioritising. They will also have the opportunity to achieve chartered status later in their career should they choose to do so.



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Project management has developed into a fully-fledged chartered profession since the granting of the Royal Charter in the UK to The Association for Project Management (APM) in 2017. Training courses for project managers were already available and highly popular to help people gain professional project management accreditation, but with this wider recognition of the profession it is now seen as a desirable career path for many. Whilst the APM has the coveted Royal Charter and continues to develop its APM PMQ (formerly the APMP) programmes, there are also other internationally recognised qualifications that continue to be highly regarded such as PMP and PRINCE2.

Organisations have become increasingly project-focused in this era of rapidly emerging new technologies and they value the expertise that comes with experienced and fully qualified project teams and managers. By investing in their project management capability businesses can be confident of delivering their new projects in time and on budget more often and more successfully. Many major corporation are now training their people to have the right project management qualifications as well as relevant experience, through internal Learning & Development (L&D) programmes; or by using external project management training providers.

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