Willem Van Mulders, Director of Academic and Educational Outreach, PMI Belgium Chapter
As the saying goes, “from small acorns, mighty oaks grow”, and this is certainly the case with two worthy collaborations driven by PMI Belgian Chapter Academic & Educational Outreach group.
PMI Belgium Chapter leads training for jobseekers in project management
A collaboration with the VDAB started by PMI Belgium Chapter veterans Jacques Neyns & Chris Kindermans is active for more than seven years and has trained over a thousand jobseekers.
Working together with dedicated PMI volunteers, Jacques and Chris, created a basic project management training inspired on the PMIEF material of Walter Ginevri. The training is given to unemployed people who benefit of the added value of a project management training in their job search.
This PMI Instructor Led Training (ILT) started initially with a test training to try out the principle, before taking off in earnest through the dedication of volunteers. Since then it is run by volunteer trainers giving sessions of 3 evenings of 3 hours. The result of this initiative has been an overwhelming win-win-win.
- The VDAB trainees have experience of practicing project management in a team setting, trained and guided by experienced project managers. The course often draws on their personal PM experience which boosts confidence, and enables jobseekers to speak more assertively about their relevant experience.
- Volunteers get experience in training people. The program has now evolved to 2-4 sessions per year in every province, supporting Belgian’s workforce throughout.
- This initiative from the PMI Belgian Chapter helps to generate both interest and understanding to create new project managers of the future.
A further step in the evolution of this training occurred in 2019. The VDAB was looking for a way to extend the training to a wider audience. The idea was to create a web-based training creating greater accessibility of the material. VDAB and PMI Belgium Chapter volunteers collaborated to give body to this work and the result was a course launched to supplement the ILT.
The web-based training offered the opportunity to revamp the ILT to make it more relevant in terms of developing key Project Management skills and decision-making and with a real focus on ‘hands-on’ learning. The volunteers contributing to this initiative are Shirley Pullan, Frans Cousse, Didier Timpermans, Annelies Vrielynckx, John Waring, and is expected be rolled out later in the year.
Regional Technology Centres of Limburg & Antwerpen
The RTC (Regional Technology Center) is a Belgian Government organization that ensures a good matching of education and training with the needs of the Belgian labour market. One of their goals is to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics) more widely in Belgian schools. The basis of STEM is project work, therefore the demand for good project management in both learning and execution is a key element.
PMI volunteer and Director of Personal Development, Frank Turley, developed a ‘Train the Trainer’ exercise with STEM school teachers so that they can teach the much-needed project management skills to their students. The training provides modern skills and approaches so that teachers can best guide and train their students in project management whilst they work on their school projects.
The school projects are multi-disciplinary, so the students need to work with together with those studying different subjects. Students may ultimately work with businesses that help them with their projects. Working in multi-disciplinary teams, often in a commercial context, gives a realism to their projects and greater similarity to real-life and fulfilling the goal of the RTC.
I would like to thank the steady base of volunteers maintaining this service to society.