The next generation of Black Country business leaders have a new opportunity to develop their careers with the launch of an organisation designed to meet their needs.

Black Country Chamber's Young Professionals Network will offer business people aged under 40 a chance to network, train, find mentors, share good business practice and develop key contacts in the local community.

The YPN will be launched formally at the Chamber's Boost Your Business conference and trade show at Dunstall Park Racecourse, Wolverhampton, on September 22 and 23.

Members will have the chance to attend regular networking events at venues around the Black Country and Birmingham, as well as seminars offering specialist advice and training.

They will also be associate members of Black Country Chamber itself.

Chamber chief executive Ian Brough said: "The Black Country is facing a challenge to train and retain its best young talent. Our new Young Professionals Network will help young high achievers meet their peers and develop a strong corporate voice on behalf of the managing directors and senior partners of the future.

"Our focus is on all sectors, so we intend to make sure manufacturers can meet financial services professionals and rising stars in the public sector can interact with young engineers.

"The YPN will offer a mix of social, business and personal development opportunities. As the network grows, our brightest prospects will be able to develop their potential and make a significant contribution to the Black Country."

The Boost Your Business conference and trade show, which is free, will include a trade show, seminars, meetings with senior politicians and a conference designed to meet the needs of women-owned businesses.

The first YPN networking event will be at the CRC, Wolverhampton, on November 15.