Apprenticeships are a key part of the ongoing development of the project management profession.
They play an important role in both the development of existing professionals and in attracting new talent to the industry.
They’re a great opportunity for professionals to grow and progress in their careers. However, it’s not just the apprentices themselves who benefit from apprenticeships - employers get a great deal out of it too.
By taking on a Project Management apprentice you’ll get a lot more than someone to make a brew - here are 5 reasons why you should hire one.
#1 They’ll develop essential Project Management skills, knowledge & behaviours
The end-to-end delivery of a project is a complicated process, so you’ll want everyone on your team to have the right skills and knowledge and to act professionally to ensure everything runs smoothly.
A project management apprentice will learn essential knowledge such as cost control, project scope, budgeting and schedule management. They will also be able to demonstrate behaviours like leadership, ethics, professionalism and effective communication.
All of this will be measured during the end-point assessment, ensuring that they become a valuable asset to your team.
#2 You can tailor these skills to your business
Off-the-job training accounts for 20% of an apprentice’s working time. This is where they’ll study towards their official qualification and learn all those lovely skills, knowledge and behaviours that we just mentioned.
Apprentices must also be provided with on-the-job training which will allow them to develop their skills and this is where you can really tailor their skills and knowledge to your business’s specific needs.
You'll also give your apprentice a mentor within the workplace. This will allow you to guide your apprentice in the right direction and give them the support they need to be able to deliver the project in-line with your business' goals.
#3 Project Management apprenticeships result in comprehensive qualifications
At the moment, there are two Project Management apprenticeships available: Level 4 Associate Project Manager and Level 6 Project Manager.
These are both what’s known as Higher Apprenticeships, which are designed as a more accessible alternative to university degrees.
As they are higher qualifications, they do take longer to complete but due to their in-depth nature, your apprentices will emerge from their end-point assessment as capable and professional project managers.
#4 They can be members of the Association for Project Management (APM)
Apprentices may become student members of APM which is the chartered body for the project profession. Student membership is focused on learning and provides as much support and additional knowledge as possible.
Your apprentice will be able to access resources like the APM online library which includes e-books and an archive of the journal Project. This will allow your apprentice access to up-to-the-minute information which they can apply to both their day-to-day role and their off-the-job training.
Your apprentice will also be able to get involved in APM Branch and Specific Interest Group events. These events give members the opportunity to network and learn about the latest industry developments.
In particular, the Specific Interest Groups are instrumental in creating and spreading new knowledge within the project profession - if your apprentice is involved in these events they’ll be among the first to know about any new developments.
#5 Apprentices bring enthusiasm, fresh ideas - and a positive net gain
The fresh ideas and creativity of an apprentice can transform the way you approach your projects.
Apprenticeships differ from other forms of learning because they combine further education and practical work experience, giving apprentices a unique perspective which other candidates may not have.
Apprentices are continuously learning and developing making them more likely to be able to approach problems creatively. University study is comprehensive, but it can get students used a theoretical way of learning. On the other hand, apprentices can test knowledge immediately in a practical scenario and adapt the theory to each new situation.
Plus, your organisation can expect an average positive net gain of £1,670 for each apprentice you hire in any discipline rising, to £13,824 for management apprentices.
These are just 5 of the reasons why hiring a Project Management apprentice is a smart move - there are many more!
It’s also been found that hiring apprentices can boost productivity, improve staff morale and increase staff retention. You’ll also be providing someone with a great opportunity to kickstart their career in Project Management so it comes with a feel-good factor too!