Leadership initiative unveiled for local councillors

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Article publication date: 1 August 2004



(2004), "Leadership initiative unveiled for local councillors", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 36 No. 5. https://doi.org/10.1108/ict.2004.03736eab.003



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Leadership initiative unveiled for local councillors

Leadership initiative unveiled for local councillors

Local councillors in Birmingham, England, are set to benefit from a scheme to provide training in devolved public-sector management. The programme comes in the wake of a national census of which revealed that only a fifth of councillors in England and Wales have a professional qualification.

The project, which is the result of a partnership between Bournville College and the Chartered Management Institute, will give councillors the opportunity to undertake a learning programme linked to the national occupational standards for management. It was designed to cater for councillors' needs after research by the employers' organization for local government revealed that 42 per cent of local authorities fail to consult properly throughout the training process.

Courses will be offered on a flexible basis and will provide councillors with a solid foundation in essential management techniques. The programme will be open to both new and long-established councillors and will enable participants to learn how to plan, prioritize and manage their projects and resources. Individuals will also be encouraged to develop strategies to improve their effectiveness. Topics covered during the course will include community development, cultural awareness and devolution in practice.

“Management at local-government level is about getting the best out of the resources available and communicating effectively with the community. By offering its councillors a chance to obtain a professional qualification in management, Birmingham City Council is demonstrating its attachment to these values and paving the way for even closer community relations,” said Christine Hayhurst, director of professional affairs at the Chartered Management Institute.

Those who participate in the course will be granted student membership within the Chartered Management Institute – a benefit that will give councillors access to research facilities and project-management tools. They will also be awarded a nationally recognized Level 3 certificate in devolved public-sector management, on successful completion of the course.

Steve Harris, programme director at Bournville College, commented: “Birmingham City Council is a fantastic example of a local authority committed to developing the long-term capabilities of its elected representatives. The award of a nationally recognized qualification will, however, do more than benefit individual councillors. It is a clear statement from the council that the needs of the local community must be dealt with on a professional level.”

There are plans for a national roll-out of the scheme.

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