Skills gap widening for engineering project managers

| Industrial Sector News

Lydia Lewis believes there should be more talk about degree apprenticeships at schools

Poll shows four in ten project managers think the skills gap in their sector is either getting worse or not improving

The Association for Project Management (APM), the chartered membership organisation for the project profession, surveyed over 1,000 project management professionals in several UK sectors including engineering in a poll carried out by national research company Censuswide.

The poll results show that four in 10 project managers who work in engineering think the skills gap in their sector is either getting worse or not improving, while over half believe apprenticeships are the best way to fix the problem.

Those who thought the skills gap was getting worse said long-term solutions to bridging the problem over the next five years were through apprenticeship programmes followed by wider recruitment and additional training at college or university.

Degree apprenticeships were launched as a flagship policy as part of a package of reforms to the apprenticeships system in England in 2015. Apprentices study at university and work part-time at an employer relevant to their qualification without paying tuition fees.

Lydia Lewis, is studying towards a project management degree apprenticeships at Mott MacDonald consultants. She believes that apprenticeships can help bridge the skills gap as they allow you to practically expand the skills you learn at university.

“The most I’ve personally learnt about project management has been through practically working on a project with other project professionals,” she says.

Lewis is working on large-scale transport and healthcare infrastructure projects and says that young people would benefit from greater awareness of practical qualifications in schools and colleges.

“There needs to be more talk around apprenticeships in school. I also think a lot of people still hold the belief that apprenticeships are for more labour-intensive jobs and university is the only route for other careers,” she concludes.

Jonathan Newell
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