However, there are a number of apprenticeships which are specifically designed for people who are already in senior positions, and want to gain the skills they need to become better leaders, improve process within their business and progress even further in their roles. One of the standards which aims to do just that is the Level 4 Associate Project Manager Apprenticeship.
The course covers a range of areas, including resource management, cost control, project communication and stakeholder management. It’s suitable for people in a variety of PM roles, including marketing managers, IT systems developers and frontline HR staff.
Adrian Healey works at the Growth Company as a business development director. He decided to do the project management apprenticeship as he wanted to become a better leader. In his role, Adrian balances business as usual activity with new projects, and frequently works with project managers. He wanted to gain the knowledge, skills and behaviours that he had seen other successful managers exhibit – which would enable him to become a more effective leader and ensure that projects have the best chance of success.
Because the apprenticeship gives learners skills that they can immediately put into practice, Adrian was able to improve the way he operated day-to-day very quickly. He said: “Having a skills coach to run things by and sense check some of my decisions has made me much more effective. The project teams that I lead have commented on how things seem a lot clearer and more structured as a result of my learning.”
He added: “I’m more familiar with the language used in projects and can better understand how a project moves through its lifecycle. I now have more knowledge of the processes and documents that I can use to make sure that the projects I oversee – including the ones that I manage directly – are run properly.”
It’s clear that the apprenticeship has benefitted Adrian hugely in his role – so would he recommend apprenticeships to senior leaders as a way of helping them to upskills further? Absolutely! Whilst Adrian admits that juggling his studies with a full-time job was ‘hard work’, he’s glad he chose an apprenticeship.
He said: “As many senior leaders do, I had the opportunity to go on a course to boost my skills. I decided against this as I felt that the support that I would get from a skills coach would help me to put knowledge and behaviours into practice and actually make a difference to the way I lead my teams – and I wasn’t wrong. Having someone who had managed large-scale projects, had learned lessons from those projects, and was on-hand to support me through my project management journey was invaluable. I would recommend anyone in a senior leadership position to consider an apprenticeship for personal development, as I feel it adds so much more to a learning experience than simply acquiring the knowledge through a course.”