Ten Dutch water companies have joined international forces in WaterWorX. A group of 24 young local professionals will be working for these companies abroad. This month the group will begin with a personalised training and coaching programme, developed by YEP Programmes under the YEP tailor-made banner. This is a special collaboration which will strengthen the impact of the YEP programmes even more: rejuvenating the water and agri-food sector and therefore ensuring a constant source of knowledge in those sectors.
Open for new ideas
Programme manager Marjon Reiziger is proud of YEP tailor-made, she tells in her blog.
"I just held a presentation for a group of talent developers on the concept of Young Expert Programmes. The attendees noticed that we have constantly been on the move for the last five years: what's happening on the market, what should we anticipate, what new tools and methods can we apply. And it's true. We want to innovate continuously. Around us we see training programmes are often quite static, and hardly change for years. We do not want to do that, because then you cannot always offer what is required. Thanks to this approach we have built up a fantastic network over the past few years, have already trained and coached more than 350 young professionals and received much appreciation for that. This is also because we continuously work with young people who are full of ideas. We are really open to this. A few alumni will be presenting an online master class for us on business development in other cultures. Isn't that great?"
Train young local experts
That it works was also proved when the WaterWorX initiative crossed our path. The ten drinking water companies want to train young local experts as part of international cooperation with their partner companies in Africa, Asia and Latin America. This fits in with their ambition to give sustainable access to clean drinking water to ten million people worldwide up to and including 2030. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the co-financing partner in this initiative.
I examined the plan and thought: now that fits us perfectly! The capacity building focuses specifically on areas in which we also operate: management, leadership and personal development. So not on technical fields: the drinking water companies have this knowledge. We conducted a series of interviews and the drinking water companies were convinced that they would be better off doing it through us than doing it themselves. The drinking water companies procure the training and coaching from us. YEP Programmes offer support in the selection of the Young Experts with well-formulated criteria and competences, YEP Programmes determine the content of the training in consultation with the client and organise the training and coaching and therefore relieving the drinking water companies.
Expend to other sectors
Under the YEP Tailor-made banner we also already offer training and coaching to 3 Young Experts, which was started last year at embassies in Benin, Kenya and Rwanda, through the AgriProFocus Talent Pool. The Talent Pool can accommodate three professionals per year for a period of four years.
I can also see another expansion towards other sectors and ministries. For example, there is an interest from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to assign young professionals through YEP Programmes on the theme "Sexual Reproductive Health and Human Rights". And who knows what else may be lined up. During the above-mentioned meeting I talked to a talent developer at Bouwend Nederland (Building Netherlands), who wondered whether YEP Programmes could also be implemented on the Dutch market. We will soon be discussing this in detail.
We are obviously are also busy with our regular programmes. We received in total 45 proposals from companies and organisations for the new batch, already the sixteenth. And it seems that we will also be continuing over the next five years.
Benefits for young professionals
We have noticed that the YEP Programmes concept is catching on in practice. Those who have done YEP are stronger, know themselves better and can present themselves better, know how to tap into knowledge and make use of networking. Martina Groenemeijer, alumni Young Expert of the Practica Foundation, for example, became product manager of Futurepump in Kenya, where she conducted two years of research into the effectiveness of the solar irrigation pump. The product works, a company was started to take care of the world-wide distribution and she continues to be employed there. In short: it is good for the people and for the sector. That's why we do it!
For more information
YEP Programmes are carried out by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP) and the Netherlands Food Partnership. For more information, please visit the YEP Programmes website, page through YEP Effect or contact us through firstname.lastname@example.org.