Association for Project Management
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Government must have a long-term plan to make future projects successful, says APM

Association for Project Management (APM) has backed calls for the government to develop a long-term plan for infrastructure projects, to ensure economic and environmental targets are met.

The Infrastructure Progress Review 2023, a new report by the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), states that the Government is moving too slowly with its infrastructure projects to meet its goals its economic and climate goals.

The NIC highlights the need to accelerate projects that will support future growth and net zero ambitions. It calls for a “change of gear in infrastructure policy”, stating that the Government must “focus on fewer, bigger, better targeted initiatives” to deliver the infrastructure required to meet its long-term goals for a bigger, lower carbon economy.

APM has backed many of the report’s findings, emphasising the importance of projects for creating social benefits and driving economic growth. It has called for Government to focus on greater stability and planning around major projects. APM has also urged Government to heed the NIC’s recommendations and respond appropriately, in order to accelerate delivery of the projects the UK needs.

APM issued three calls to action to the Government:

  1. Work with APM and others to give project professionals in the civil service the right conditions to achieve long term goals – stability is monumentally important to long term projects; departments need confidence to plan long term, and project professionals need the right support to develop.
  2. Improve communication from policy development to policy delivery, ensuring projects can be achieved from day one. 
  3. Improve local project delivery by addressing the project capability and capacity skills gap highlighted in the Local Government Association’s (LGA’s) Local Government Workforce Survey.

In the report, Sir John Armitt, Chair of the NIC, wrote:

“We must have the staying power to stick to long term plans, to spare cost increases that come with a stop-start approach and to give investors greater confidence in the UK.

“Getting our infrastructure right for the second half of this century is a journey that, by definition, will go on being plotted over the coming decades. But a further year of prevarication risks losing momentum on critical areas like achieving the statutory net zero target. Rarely has the need for speed been more evident.”

Andrew Baldwin, Head of Public Affairs at APM, yesterday said:

“Projects must be supported to realise their societal benefit, support future growth and deliver the UK’s net zero commitments. This report adds to the growing evidence of the need to invest further in project capability and delivery.

“Projects need greater stability and planning to succeed. We urge the Government to seriously consider the need for a longer term plan, and to address our own calls to action, to ensure future projects have the best chance of success.”

Download the Infrastructure Progress Review 2023.


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