14 Sep 2020

Project Management skills are crucial to deliver on construction promises in October Budget

Press release
Project Management skills are crucial to deliver on construction promises in October Budget

A shortage of project management skills in Australia will impact the efficient delivery of new construction projects.

AIPM welcomes the recent announcement that a major spending boost is being planned for the October budget to launch new construction projects by the Hon Michael McCormack MP, Deputy Prime Minister.

With "significant" new spending on top of the existing $100 billion infrastructure list, the availability of skilled project management resources will be crucial to successful project outcomes of this scale. This resource is essential if these projects are to adhere to industry standards and use of best practices.

The announcement coincides with the upcoming release of a study by researchers at Edith Cowan University (ECU), and supported by the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM), which analysed the efficiency of a group of projects in different industries. The study found that construction projects in the group had the lowest average efficiency, whereas the mining industry had the most efficient projects.

“With a focus on infrastructure and construction projects to help steer Australia’s economy out of the COVID-19 period, government needs to consider the availability and competency of a skilled project management workforce to deliver projects efficiently to ensure that the original investment is maximised” said Elizabeth Foley, the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM) CEO.

“There are numerous examples in the building and construction industry where a lack of skilled labour, poor cash flow, smaller profit margins, high insurance cost, and the lack of a business case have resulted in failures in safety and risk and the high rate of failure of projects. In line with our recent advocacy at state government level, for projects of this scale, certified project managers are needed who can demonstrate that they have the practical experience their resumes claim, and evidence that their experience is up-to-date, and their knowledge is growing with changes in industry and technology,” said Ms Foley.

“Project Management forms part of a standard competency required across multiple industries. The job-relevant knowledge of planning methodologies and procedures, delivery, controlling and handing-over of projects can only be obtained through the legitimate study of project management fundamentals through accredited tertiary qualifications” said Richard Hughes, Joint Chief Investigator from ECU.

“If you’re a project manager, no matter which industry you’re working in, it’s important to ensure effective communication, collaboration and coordination with your team and stakeholders, as this was often associated with more efficient projects,” Mr Hughes said.

According to Ms Foley, universities and vocational educators also need to ensure that project management courses are available in Australia now to accommodate the urgent need for a skilled workforce. It is essential that these courses have been assessed by project management specialists and meet the requirements of the project management industry.

Ms Foley explained, “It is imperative that the higher education courses related to project management that are available today have high-quality content and delivery, to ensure there is the skillset to deliver on the projects that will carry Australia out of the COVID-19 crisis and consequent recession.”

AIPM and ECU’s joint research will be available for release by downloadable eBook on the AIPM website on Monday 21 September 2020.

Elizabeth Foley, CEO of AIPM is available for comment on request.



Marcus Sandmann, Chief Marketing Officer, Australian Institute of Project Management                         
P: +61 411 877 643   E: msandmann@aipm.com.au



The Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM) is the premier, longest-serving body for project management in Australia. We are recognised by Australian business, industry and government as the key promoter, developer, and leader in project management professionalism for over 40 years. AIPM is a member of the International Project Management Association (IPMA).