Birmingham's young professionals are again on the lookout for an inspiring leader.

The award is part of the Young Professional of the Year event.

Sponsored by accountants Deloitte, it gives the city's future leaders the chance to decide who deserves to be recognised this year.

The category is open to all members of Birmingham's business community, regardless of age.

Alex Bishop, associate at DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary UK and chairman of Birmingham Future's BYPY Team, said: "Nominations are now coming in as we get closer to the big night. Our job is then to prepare a short list of three nominated Inspiring Leaders who will be put forward for an interactive audience vote at the event.

"BYPY is all about recognising the leaders of tomorrow and as we approach our fifth birthday." Previous nominees, for Inspiring Leader, have basked in the limelight due to their dedication to charity, their firm or their commitment to professional development.

Last year's winner, John James, chairman of South Birmingham College, won the title because of his inspirational encouragement of others to start their own businesses, to establish themselves within their choice of career as well as his overall contribution to the city.

Commenting on his achievement, Mr James said: "I was overwhelmed to be voted the winner of the category last year.

"It's an honour to have been classed as one of the city's business leaders by Birmingham Future and to know that I may have influenced and inspired them to achieve greater heights. There are still so many others out there waiting to be recognised." Nominees are being selected for their inspirational energy, drive, enthusiasm and work in the regeneration of the West Midlands.

Ms Bishop continued: "This is a great opportunity to give credit to those who have inspired and mentored us.

"The achievements of these people have strengthened Birmingham, contributed to the professional development of the city's next generation of leaders, and have been crucial in putting Birmingham Future and the city on the international map. Many of them have also played an important role in Birmingham's wider community.

"We are pleased and excited to have this opportunity to publicly acknowledge their contribution and say thank you.

The main sponsor for Birmingham's Young Professional of the Year 2005 is law firm Wragge & Co.