BCS young professionals build on group's success

There has been a huge surge in activity in the BCS Young Professionals Group (YPG) in recent months.

There has been a huge surge in activity in the BCS Young Professionals Group (YPG) in recent months.

It has won renewed support from senior officers and staff following a presentation and dinner event organised by the group's national committee, writes John Kavanagh.

The presentation highlighted the group's work following the formation of a specially selected committee to work on behalf of BCS members aged 18 to 35.

"The YPG has undergone something of a revolution, inviting talented individuals to take up specific roles, including marketing, publicity, event co-ordination and webmaster," says YPG committee member Anthony Parker.

"With these roles now firmly in place and ideas flowing, the presentation event enabled The BCS to become more familiar with the new committee members and hear their views.

"The presentation highlighted issues including closer interaction between the committee and local branches, better communication between YPG representatives, and guidelines to help YPG reps market their own events and initiatives.

"It was very well received, with an overwhelming promise to support the YPG in its goals, initiatives and funding."

The BCS' focus on younger members is reflected in the 21% growth in full-time student members in the last year and a 14% increase in people in the graduate grade, which is for IT specialists in the early years of their careers. Almost 40% of the 39,000 BCS members are aged 35 or under.

"With closer ties with the BCS and other groups, the YPG hopes to stem turnover of young BCS members and cultivate an informational and support structure on which members can depend," says Parker. "The YPG also promises more involvement with all members, with local networking events, competitions and career guidance."

YPG activities in recent months have included major development of its Web site and of the Worklink student work placement service. Other activities have ranged from the formation of YPG Scotland (YPGS) to an exclusive competition for places at the prestigious annual IT Directors Forum and a fantasy football competition run via the Web site.

YPGS was formed at a meeting of YPG members from across Scotland, following informal collaboration between YPG representatives there. "By providing support, information and a varied events programme, we hope to build a strong vibrant YPG community," says YPGS chairman Matthew Leah.

"The formation of YPGS is just part of an overall strategy to improve services and support for all YPG members. We would like to see the formation of YPG subgroups across the UK, able to provide activities, events and support to the YPG membership in their area. The YPG representatives from the three branches that serve London have already begun to co-ordinate events and activities for their membership."

Further information
British Computer Society: www.bcs.org.uk/ypg

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