The Young Experts follow a development programme during their participation in YEP. Prior to their placement abroad the Young Experts take part in an intensive 3-week start training course. In the case of a two-year contract they return to the Netherlands after one year for another two weeks of return training. The return programme at the end of the YEP time consists of individual meetings.
The development programme of the Young Experts mainly focuses on three areas of development:
- Individual development
- Collective development
- Networking & innovation
Since we strive to maintain the best possible training programme, it is possible that master classes or trainings might be added or altered. An example of the global training programme can be found on this page. YEP uses the YEP Development Centre, which was developed and specialised for YEP, to share all of the information on training sessions and master classes.
The Young Expert's personal learning targets are laid down in a personal development plan. Besides personal learning targets, this plan includes a development plan that is tailored to the specific location of the Young Expert's secondment. This personal development plan is based on an MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) test and feedback meeting, which will take place in the week prior to the start training course. During their placement the Young Expert will have regular coaching sessions via Skype with a professional coach appointed by the YEP programme bureau. This coach will help wherever he or she can with the assignments, personal development, as well as any other issues that may arise. Besides that, the Young Expert will have a supervisor appointed by the organisation, who will deal mainly with their work and any supervision that is required. Thirdly, the seconding organisation will appoint a mentor in the Netherlands, who will have regular contact with the Young Expert. The mentor will also be the contact person for the YEP programme bureau. During the entire time YEP the Young Experts are also required to attend several masterclasses on relevant topics such as a food security or water management.
The collective development of the Young Experts focuses on various aspects that prove to be useful in their working environment, to the Water and Agrofood sector, and in their ability to work in (intercultural) teams. The collective development includes training and practical sessions on social media, intercultural facilitation, conflict management, safety, project planning, and many more, as listed in the example of the training programme.
Networking & innovation
An important part of the training programme is to enable and stimulate the Young Experts to use and apply their networking skills. Every year around 70 Young Experts join the programme and every year between 20 to 50 Young Experts complete the programme and become YEP alumni. Both the active and alumni Young Experts are connected through an active online platform called Basecamp. This platform is actively used by the Young Experts to share experiences, ask for advice and connect with each other. Additionally, the alumni also have the opportunity to join the EP-Nuffic alumni network. Our partners, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, NWP and F&BKP support the Young Experts with their network during the Young Experts' placement. The Dutch Embassies also support the YEP network in the specific countries as well.
In the video below Suzanne Faber shares her experiences on being a Young Expert, the YEP training sessions and coaching!