Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Socpo president Keith Handley received his biggest career break when hismentor put him forward to chair a national group. Bryan Watson was director of personnel at the GLC in 1986 when herecommended Handley, then assistant director of personnel at BradfordMetropolitan Council, for the job of chairman of the newly formed MetropolitanAuthorities Recruitment Agency’s Older Workers Campaign Group. “He gave me my first foray on to the national HR stage,” explainsHandley. “Bryan was the leading light in the formation of Metra which,even at that early stage, was promoting the issue of age awareness and anti-agediscrimination – which has continued to be an important issue for me throughoutmy career.” The best piece of advice Handley received from Watson is, “Even if youare at the top of the organisation, you still need somebody to lean on”. Handley leaned on Watson throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s whenBradford Metropolitan Council cut spending by £60m with the majority comingfrom redundancy programmes. “The role of the personnel director at these times can be a very lonelyone, having to present reports to the board on how to achieve savings whilemaking sure employees are leaving the organisation with their dignityintact,” he says. Watson, now retired, is a member of the CIPD’s careers and counselling forumand Socpo’s pensions and age diversity group, which Handley chairs. My mentorOn 20 Nov 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.