Project management - a golden thread in the UK economy

by Julie McClean Head of quantitative research, PwC Research

Email +44 (0)7738 313241

Wednesday 10 April marked the launch of PwC Research’s latest published report, ‘The Golden Thread’, commissioned by the UK Association for Project Management (APM).  The Golden Thread explores the growth of ‘projectification’ within the £156bn UK market and aims to provide a better understanding and debate around the contribution of the project profession to the British economy.

Golden Thread attendeesJohn McGlynn, Chair of APM, opened the session by welcoming delegates to the exclusive breakfast event in London’s iconic Gherkin and thanked the PwC Golden Thread project team for their contribution and foresight.

Steve Kershaw, PwC Partner and UK head of programme and project management (PPM) put the report into context by highlighting the importance of this research to the project profession.

Julie McClean, head of quantitative research at PwC Research, took the stage and thanked APM for inviting PwC Research to undertake the project. She acknowledged that, while others had struggled and failed to quantify the market, PwC Research’s tried and tested methodology and experience proved to be the right combination to deliver an authoritative outcome and raise the profile and importance of the profession.


Golden thread team
PwC Research's team at the Golden Thread launch event (L-R): Julie McClean, Mia Carter, Ciara Campbell and Archie Booth.

For the first time, we now have a holistic estimate of the shape and size of the UK project profession and the significant contribution the profession makes to the economy, generating £156.5 billion in GVA and employing 2.13 million full-time equivalent workers.

This means 8.9% of total UK GVA is delivered by 7.9% of UK (full-time equivalent/FTE) workers.

We believe project management and the project profession really are a ‘golden thread’ permeating through every aspect of the UK’s economy, shaping projects, keeping them on track, driving quality, using budgets effectively and ensuring investments are successful. We also believe that we have only scratched the surface and that this is just a starting point for further exploration of this key contributor to UK prosperity and competitiveness.

Within the Golden Thread, we make a number of recommendations and if you are interested in finding out more, the report can be located here.

We would like to thank Professor Andrew Edkins, Sue Millington, Debbie Dore and Dr. Andrew Schuster for taking part in the panel discussion, as well as all those who attended. If you are interested in finding out more about the project please contact Julie McClean at PwC Research.

by Julie McClean Head of quantitative research, PwC Research

Email +44 (0)7738 313241

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