A new chairman has taken over at young professionals group BPS Birmingham Future.
Financial planner Michael Shepherd has stepped up to the top job to replace PR professional Suzie Branch. Birmingham Future runs the annual BYPY awards which are presented every May.
Mr Shepherd has recently moved to Beckford James, the city centre-based chartered financial planner, as an associate and has worked in the city's financial services sector for 14 years.
His tenure as chairman begins this week and will be 12 months during which time his deputy will be joint managing director at recruitment consultancy Simkiss Guy Recruitment Rebecca Simkiss.
In his role as chairman, Mr Shepherd will also join the board of professional and financial services representative body, BPS Birmingham.
He said civic responsibility and building on young professionals' increasing involvement in the city's wider community were key objectives.
During his inaugural address to members, he said: "Living in a global economy where workplace opportunities now literally span the globe, we can no longer rely on graduates choosing this city to make their lives and careers.
"If we are to succeed we need to motivate, skill and inspire the young people who already live here to want to join us and make their careers right here.
"The skills gap is at last finding itself at the top of the agenda. Politicians, business and business organisations are realising that this complex issue can no longer be swept under the carpet and left for someone else to discover and solve.
"We are excited that at last the city is getting a grip of the issues we have been talking about for some time and was starkly highlighted in the future commission."
As part of that theme in the next year, Birmingham Future will be using its resources to work in collaboration with other key city region organisations to find ways to close the skills gap that continues to threaten the future prosperity of the city's professional and financial services sector.
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