Association for Project Management (APM) has launched a new campaign ‘Future Lives and Landscapes', which focuses on projects that deliver benefits to society in the UK, transforming the nation's economic, social and physical landscape.
‘Future Lives and Landscapes' will bring research, thought leadership and expert opinion to individual project practitioners, employers, business leaders and others, to improve the delivery of projects now and in the future.
To launch the campaign, APM partnered with research company Censuswide to carry out a study of 1,000 professionals working on UK projects intended to deliver a social benefit*. Participants were asked about levels of project skills in the region where they work, whether there are enough project/programme professionals to deliver social benefit projects in their area, and whether sufficient funding is available to deliver their project to desired standards.
The current picture
The survey revealed:
- Nearly two-thirds (65%) of respondents said there are project skills gaps in their region that would affect ability to deliver other social benefit projects. This includes 8% who say there are ‘significant' skills gaps.
- There is no region of the UK where the majority of professionals working on a project with social benefit feel there are no skills gaps.
- The project skills gap is considered the biggest risk to social mobility projects right now (selected by 35% of respondents), followed by a lack of project/programme professionals (32%) and insufficient funding (29%).
- 55% said that would benefit from having more project professionals in their region to deliver other social mobility projects.
The next five years
The survey revealed:
- The biggest risks to delivery of future projects are considered to be insufficient funding (stated by 36% of respondents), followed by the skills gaps (31%) and lack of programme/project professionals (29%).
- Under a quarter (23%) of project professionals say that, within their industry or sector, they are very confident that there will be enough project/programme professionals to deliver similar projects in the next five years.
The regional picture vs the industry view
APM's study reveals the UK regions with the biggest concerns over skills gaps are North West England, Wales and South West England. The regions least concerned with skills gaps are South East England, Greater London and Scotland.
When responses were analysed by industry sector rather than by geographic region, it was found that 64% of respondents said there are at least some skills gaps in their industry, including 8% who say there are ‘significant' gaps. Overall, only 31% of respondents said their industry has enough project professionals to deliver other social benefit projects at the current time.
The industries with the biggest concerns over skills gaps are healthcare, HR, and retail, catering and leisure. Those that are least concerned about skills gaps are architecture, engineering and building, legal, and travel and transport.
Professor Adam Boddison OBE, Chief Executive of APM, yesterday said:
“It's important that as the chartered membership organisation for the project profession we recognise and highlight the issues impacting project success, and in particular those projects with a benefit to society. Our latest campaign sets out to do this.
“It is clear from our study that there are concerns around skills, the numbers of project professionals and funding for projects across regions of the UK and industry sectors. It is vital that individuals and those responsible for recruiting for project teams understand the importance of having not only sufficient numbers of project professionals, but also the right skills in place.
“We champion greater professionalism in projects and driving a better understanding of the importance of the use of expert project professionals in project delivery. This includes ensuring organisations and teams having access to the right level of training, qualifications and having more Chartered Project Professionals to raise standards and the outcomes of projects for public benefit.
“We look forward to sharing further insights from our campaign over the coming months.”
Future Lives and Landscapes page for further information about the reginal differences broken down by skills, project professionals and funding.
In addition, APM's Conference - Change Changes, taking place on 8th June, sponsored by PA Consulting, will include a Future Lives and Landscapes stream, featuring topics highlighted in the campaign. Booking for the conference are now open.
*Projects with a societal benefit includes projects which improve living standards, enhance wellbeing, help increase social equality, or reduce geographic inequality.
*All figures rounded to the nearest 1%