It’s not always easy to make a career choice at a young age and, in any case, a career for life is increasingly a thing of the past. So schools equip young people with transferable, flexible skills that can be used in a variety of careers – including ones that may not even exist yet!

It is also becoming less common to need a university degree to ensure a respected career path and there is a recognition that higher apprenticeships can provide the skills and qualifications for many in-demand careers such as project management without taking a degree first. So many large organisations now work on a project-centric business model that it is essential that they can reliably deliver successful projects. Therefore, good project managers with skills learnt from the industry best practises are in high demand.

The project management profession has a range of internationally recognised qualifications that require discipline and rigour to obtain and that has been rewarded recently with the awarding of a Royal Charter here in the UK that recognises that project management is a skilled discipline along the lines of accountancy or engineering or even law, which requires lifelong learning and continuing professional development to succeed and flourish.

Lifelong learning is increasingly supported by both the UK Government and major organisations as they recognise the value of a well-trained workforce with respect to improved productivity and staff retention.

With the advent of Higher Apprenticeships that require at least 2 A Levels, the apprentice route is no longer seen as a “non-academic” route and can now lead to degree-level qualifications and higher accreditation such as chartered status for those with the desire and aptitude to pursue their career to the highest level.

Project management has been around since the 1960s but it is more important than ever in  our digital, project-focused world and is fundamental to the success of many businesses so it is perhaps no surprise that there are now new project management apprenticeships to develop the skills that organisations require. And we are consequently seeing the growth and development of this modern profession.

It first became possible to achieve certifications in project management in the 1980s and while the range and depth of those certifications and credentials has grown, variations of them still exist. As the profession has matured it has become more common for it to be a career of choice straight out of full-time education unlike in previous decades where someone was more likely to become a project manager after working in a field for some years and then progressing to the role.

Project management was initially confined to IT, construction or engineering industries but now it is to be found in all business areas. So it is no surprise that companies want a well-trained PM workforce and are embracing the new project management apprenticeship programmes, which enable them to recruit and retain the brightest and most motivated candidates.

Project management apprenticeships are based on the Association for Project Management (APM) framework; APM has over the years developed a progressive series of qualifications that start with basic training, develop skills and knowledge of best practices and eventually lead to Chartered Status. This Higher Apprenticeship offers opportunities for young people to be involved in a growing industry and develop an exciting, well-respected career.