Western Sydney University partners with PeopleCert to tackle severe shortage of project managers

Western Sydney University has partnered with PeopleCert to adopt the global project management method, PRINCE2, in its training programs for business and industry.
This is aimed at meeting the acute demand for project managers in Sydney’s major development projects.

The training, delivered through the university’s College Registered Training Organisation (RTO), complements the existing diploma in project management.

Mark Raven, RTO Director at WSU, said: “We are focused on bringing skills to industry and, currently, there are more than 2,000 project management jobs unfilled in Western Sydney. And we have some of the largest contractors in the world telling us what they need.

“With the highest level of development work happening here for more than 50 years – including Western Sydney Airport and the surrounding transport infrastructure, residential and commercial building projects – we need to scale up people’s skills quickly. Getting PRINCE2-certified people into the market will support industry and add to the value of our present project management diploma qualification.

“For industry, this is bringing together the best of both worlds: the public higher education sector and private sector professional training and knowledge.”

The College RTO at WSU has provided learning and development for industry for the past 20 years, training and certifying between 600 and 1,000 people per year. 
And it aims to introduce the PRINCE2 project management method and qualification to tradespeople and professionals already employed in companies who stand to benefit from the current skills demand.

Mark Raven added: “There are people in the trades – the ‘high-vis’ workers – in their 40s who want to get off the tools but continue their career with new skills. Equally, there are IT professionals who want to stop crunching code in software projects and pivot to more managerial roles. And there is both Commonwealth and state government funding available to support that.

“For people entering project management with the right certification, the world is your oyster. Project management is a highly transportable skill which raises the general level of professionalism and capability.

“By connecting academic study with professional business methods such as PRINCE2, the university is furthering its vision to make higher education more relevant to industry. We believe this approach to blending public and private sector expertise is innovative.”

Fraser Cargill, PeopleCert’s Director of Global Partnerships and Recognition, said: “We know there is a severe shortage of qualified project managers in Australia across all sectors from construction to education, which makes it essential for WSU to train, upskill and certify people to fill those roles.

“WSU’s decision to offer PRINCE2 training and certification is part of a growing trend in educational institutions adding professional work-based qualifications to their suite of institutional courses, as well as servicing their local community needs.”