New group targets younger workers

Queenstown Young Professionals committee (from left) member Wendy Sherlock, treasurer Joel Peasey, president Annabel Ritchie and secretary Katy Baxter greeted about 150 young professionals at the networking group's launch at Guilty on Thursday. Photo by Felicity Wolfe.
Queenstown Young Professionals committee (from left) member Wendy Sherlock, treasurer Joel Peasey, president Annabel Ritchie and secretary Katy Baxter greeted about 150 young professionals at the networking group's launch at Guilty on Thursday. Photo by Felicity Wolfe.
The mix of business and pleasure proved a potent attraction for Queenstown's young professional people last week with nearly 150 turning up for the launch of a new business networking group.

The Queenstown Young Professionals (QYP) networking group started as it means to go on, launching at Guilty Bar and bringing together many of the resort's young and talented business people.

The group is catering for the hard-working professionals in their second to 12th working year and hopes to provide them with skills, support and contacts which will benefit their careers.

"We will be targeting skills for . . . the next generation of Queenstown professionals," QYP president Annabel Ritchie said.

She encouraged younger people to get involved with "like-minded" others in town and said while there were other business networking groups in town, there had been a gap for younger people who often found working and living in Queenstown challenging.

That was part of the problem with retaining skilled staff in the town.

Many people stayed for only a few years before moving on.

Meeting other professionals might be part of the solution in slowing that trend by helping people get the tools and skills they needed to progress "to the next level in Queenstown".

The group was open to people from all professions.

With the sponsorship of Anderson Lloyd Lawyers and ASB helping with costs, QYP plans to hold regular skills seminars and evenings.

The first is planned for the end of July and will deal with how young professionals promote and market themselves.

"This will benefit and bring skills to the next generation," Ms Ritchie said.

The support of the sponsors means the joining fees have been kept down to $20 a year - an important consideration because of the high cost of living in Queenstown, Ms Ritchie said.

On the social side, the group plans to meet in local bars.

"We need that social element to attract people. In Queenstown, people expect to have a bit of fun."