The UK’s first project manager degree apprenticeship has been launched.

Some of the country’s biggest companies gathered at Broadcasting House in London to launch the new apprenticeship in project management.

Its development was led by Sellafield Ltd, with support from high profile companies including BAE Systems, British Airways, BBC, British Telecom and Rolls-Royce.

The four-year scheme will create project managers for any industry, not just nuclear, equipping people with an internationally recognised project management qualification and a bachelor of science degree.

Anne Milton, the minister for apprenticeships and skills, said: “It is fantastic news that the project manager apprenticeship standard is now up and running.

“It will give people of all ages and backgrounds the chance to demonstrate their potential and learn important leadership skills.

"They can then in turn use those skills to support businesses across the country to grow.”

The apprenticeship is supported by the University of Cumbria, Cranfield and the University of Greenwich.

John Oliver, Sellafield Ltd projects director, said: “This qualification demonstrates that Sellafield Ltd is leading the way in developing project skills for the UK.

“To have global companies looking to Sellafield Ltd and the University of Cumbria to help to develop their project managers, shows that Cumbria and the UK remain at the forefront of project education and skills.

“Project delivery is a key part of our mission of making Sellafield safer, sooner, and the skills are required to support our 100-year decommissioning programme.

“The project academy is just one of the interventions we have made to create the next generation of project professionals, for Cumbria and the UK.”

Rob Nitsch CBE, chief operating officer for the Institute for Apprenticeships, said: “This is an excellent example of the sort of higher level degree apprenticeship that employers have been calling for and stands to make a substantive contribution to filling this skills gap – project managers take on a great deal of responsibility and therefore require first rate training.

“Congratulations to the trailblazing employers who played a leading role in developing this apprenticeship.”

Wesley Robinson, of Sellafield Ltd, led the development of the project manager degree apprenticeship.

He said: “As chair of the project management employer development group I am extremely proud that within three years we have produced both a level four and a degree level apprenticeship in project management, made possible by the dedication of companies involved in the group and the support of our Government advisors and the Association for Project Management."