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MANCHESTER HOSTS NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON DEVELOPMENT OF BLACK MANAGERS

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Today Manchester City Council hosts a national conference - Black Managers' Development Value for All - which will ...
Today Manchester City Council hosts a national conference - Black Managers' Development Value for All - which will consider the current experiences of black and ethnic minority employees in local government and examine strategies to address their under representation in senior positions and the difficulties they encounter in career development.

The conference, organised jointly with the Local Government Management Board (LGMB), will focus on the city council's ground breaking work in the development of senior black staff and profile the first major research project addressing the needs of black employees in local government commissioned by the LGMB. Over 100 delegates from across the country will attend including black managers, elected members, chief executives, chief officers, human resource specialists and management development practitioners.

The conference will be chaired by Dorian Leatham, chief executive of Hillingdon LBC. Key speeches are to be delivered by Karen Welch, a management consultant with extensive public sector experience, Steve Mycio, deputy chief executive of Manchester City Council, Museji Takolia, a consultant in equal opportunities with senior management experience in local authorities and Francesca Okosi, head of human resources at Merton LBC. Six afternoon workshops will focus on the experience of black and ethnic minority staff in local government and will examine contemporary practice for encouraging career development.

Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council said: 'This conference brings together some of the main decision makers

nationally. It will stimulate new ideas in an area where research has shown that simply increasing the number of black and other ethnic minority managers does not in itself address the difficulties faced by black staff working in councils, or indeed the difficulties faced by councils in ensuring black staff are able to hold senior positions. Black and other ethnic minority managers can and do make a unique and valuable contribution to local government and ensure that councils are representative of the people they serve - giving black residents greater confidence in councils as both champions of their interests and quality providers of essential services.'

Manchester City Council's Management Development Project for Black Staff was launched in January 1997. In March 1997 30 members of staff commenced a programme to enable them to develop or enhance their ability as effective managers in the council, involving secondment to other posts and a balance of formal training, work based projects and one-to-one coaching. At the end of the 15 month project nine of the participants had achieved promotion.

AN INVITATION TO THE CONFERENCE - FROM THE LGMB

Merely increasing the number of black and ethnic minority managers will not improve practices and services in local authorities.

More needs to be done. To that end the Local Government Management Board and Manchester City Council have joined forces to bring together decision makers from the sector, stimulate new ideas, and share best practice.

The conference - Black Managers' Development - Value for all - will highlight the ground-breaking work of Manchester City Council in the development of its senior black staff, and profile the first major research project addressing the needs of black employees in local government, commissioned by the LGMB.

Key speakers include Francesca Okosi, head of human resources at Merton LBC, who will be looking at the implications of best value for the HR function. Consultant Karen Welsh will be addressing how to place black manager development at the heart of corporate strategy.

There are six afternoon workshops:

Experience-based development - positive action in Manchester City Council - Jo Somerset, Manchester City Council

Beyond good intentions - developing career routes for black staff - Rasphal Kaur Singh, SSI West Midlands

Opening up recruitment at the top - Mohan Yogendran & Graham Goodwin, Price Waterhouse Coopers

Approaches to developing black staff in Birmingham City Council - Haroon Saad, Head of Equalities, Birmingham City Council

The management challenge: overcoming the barriers - Noorzaman Rashid, Head of Corporate Management, Coventry City Council

Community governance and best value - Manchester City Council

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