Top Insights from the Project Management Benchmark Report

Economy Impacts: Entrances, Exits and Employment

Arras People launched the latest Project Management Benchmark Report today, it’s the fourteenth study of the project management marketplace that Arras have released. The report provides an independent status of project management in the UK and has built a solid reputation amongst project practitioners who enjoy reading it each year. It’s available to download here.

‘Entrances, Exits and Employment’ highlight three of the major findings from the report which have affected project practitioners over the last 12 months, and still remain hot topics for 2019.


Project practitioners who made a move in employment during the year “achieved significant inflation-busting increases” in their pay packets.

75% of those who remained in their post was in the 0-3% range when it came to a wage increase, compared to 26% who made the move. Of those that remained 22% managed a rise of 4% or more compared with 49% of job movers. The increased movement of project practitioners in the marketplace has bought the much needed ‘churn’ required. “For individual practitioners, it should be seen as good news as it tends to be a positive factor in driving day rate and salaries up.”

Take a look at the report to see how both permanent and freelancers within project management have fared in remuneration matters this year.


Arras People Project Management Benchmark ReportBrexit continues to dominate the headlines and divide the population. The project management population were no different and the report highlights a number of different angles. Surprisingly perhaps there appear to be no drastic cuts to headcounts. In terms of personal confidence, 44% of respondents reported that their confidence about work matters was not being impacted by Brexit. At the other end, 53% said their confidence levels were being impacted, 45% were being impacted negatively whilst 8% felt the impact was positive.

With days to go, will the project management industry see confidence levels swinging in either direction?


The ongoing challenges of making a living and staying in some form of meaningful employment during 2018 saw the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which created much confusion and some opportunity. IR35 changes continued to challenge the freelancing community as it further impacted the Public sector workers and worried those in the Private sector over when it will be implemented. At the same time, many freelancers came under scrutiny as HMRC pushed on with its retrospective tax initiative to recover monies from those who took their income in the form of nonrepayable loans.

Within the report are further insights of both freelancer and permanent employees in areas such as hiring issues; the different factors affecting rates and salaries; the challenges of ageing and sector problems. [Download the report to read on]

One final point of note is the hidden unemployment figures in the project management industry. Currently 6.3% (down from 7% last year) of project practitioners identify as unemployed. However, if we add in the number of Freelancers who have been economically inactive for over 12 months this figure increases to 7.7% which is significantly higher than the Office of National Statistics figure of 4% unemployment.


The Project Management Benchmark Report has always pulled out little points of note and interest from the project management population that take part and this year is no exception.

Here are my top five quick picks:

  • The invisible ball and chain in career advancement – how prejudices and preconceptions stop project practitioners moving sector and how this will have major implications for organisations – especially when you combine it with the ticking age bomb of experienced project practitioners retiring and leaving the workforce.
  • 15% of project practitioners don’t have any project management qualifications. In the cut of data across respondents, it shows that the unemployed practitioners are the ones who are least likely to have a qualification.
  • Project Managers who take the leading programme management related qualification are likely to earn more than those who just take project management qualifications. The difference between a Project Manager with PRINCE2 and a Project Manager with MSP working in a permanent role is a difference of £8,266 in permanent salary.
  • Questions that any hirer of project management staff should consider in the interview process are those that explore a candidate’s level of experience around three areas: the type of deliverables; the people they control and the budgetary responsibility they have. These three areas, if nothing else, leads to no assumptions being made about a candidate’s actual experience.
  • Remuneration for project practitioners is affected by the type of projects they deliver – how important they are to the organisation; how risky they are and how complex. Different combinations of all three of these have a notable effect on the salary and rate levels.

To pick out more details and delve further into the latest report, head to the Project Management Benchmark Report to download your copy.


Share: Linkedin Logo Facebook Logo Twitter Logo


Leave your thoughts