Best Traineeship 2020 Winners and Final Round of Competition

Mar 31, 2021

On Friday the 12th of March, the exciting final of Best Traineeship 2020 took place. This year four finalists were nominated to participate in the Best Traineeship online final and competed against each other through a Elevator Pitch video.

Jury members Kieran Canisius, Marco Koot and guest jury member Claudette Rensen (Traineeship Program Manager of last year’s winner KPN) were given the challenging task of determining the winner of this year’s Best Traineeship. For the first time in the history of Best Traineeship, both Best Traineeship and Best Traineeship Program Manager were won by the same organisation. 


The first round of the competition (the benchmark report based on trainee surveys) is followed by an interview with the jury. Those interviews combined with the available data result in five Best Practice Winners who qualify for the final. One of the teams, NN Group, even picked up two Best Practice Awards!

  • Winner Best Practice Award Balanced Projects: DisGover
  • Winner Best Practice Award Learning & Development: NN Group
  • Winner Best Practice Award Performance Improvement: Facilicom
  • Winner Best Practice Award Personal Branding: NN Group
  • Winner Best Practice Award Return on Investment: Enexis Groep
Best Traineeship Competition

Transparency is key

Under new management, Best Traineeship has seen a few changes since last year. The website and logo received a makeover and Clarine Deijnen and Kieran Canisius optimised the way the Trainee Survey was conducted to create a more in-depth benchmark report. The nomination process for the Best Traineeship Program Manager Award was also amended. Best Traineeship’s mission is to inspire organizations and individuals to grow and blossom by benchmarking influential and impactful traineeships. The ultimate goal is to drive traineeship excellence, helping organisations to realise impactful traineeships that offer young professionals the tools they need to reach their full potential. This can be achieved by providing valuable resources and actionable feedback to all Trainees, Trainee Program Managers and organisations, whether they participate in the competition or not. Therefore transparency is essential.



Before starting the final round and showing the teams’ video pitches, Kieran and Clarine shared some interesting insights from this year’s benchmark report. Program Managers had been wondering if their organisations and traineeships were adaptable enough to deal with changing circumstances, for example. A topical subject, but from the surveys it was very clear that none of the trainees thought that was an issue. All organisations scored high on adaptability. And that’s exactly what the Traineeship Survey and resulting benchmark report are for: to provide insights, data and direction that help organisations improve their traineeships and focus on areas that are important to their trainees. 

Video pitches

In their creative video pitches, each team showed what made their traineeship stand out and how it had helped them grow, both on a professional and a personal level. After each pitch there was room for other teams to ask questions about the traineeship. And after watching all four pitches, each team was asked to pick their favourite one. Those votes were also taken into account in selecting the ultimate winner. While the jury took some time to deliberate, attendees were invited to join a fun ‘Laughter Break’ workshop with Bente Adriaens from GetTheLaughFlow Events.  

Best Traineeship Program Manager 2020

Energised and with a drink ready to celebrate, everyone was eager to find out who won this year’s competition. The Best Traineeship Program Manager 2020 was announced first. It’s great to see the impact Program Managers have on their trainees’ development and experiences. This year the jury took the votes and comments from the trainee survey into account while selecting the winner of Best Traineeship Program Manager 2020. The winner  was nominated by an impressive 83% of trainees and the jury agreed with the feedback they provided. From the jury report: “The full support from your trainees is consistent with the image we have from you. Both trainees and the jury are impressed with your work.” Congratulations to winner Mart Koeslag of Enexis Groep, Best Traineeship Program Manager 2020!

Winner Best Traineeship 2020

It was time to reveal the overall winner of Best Traineeship 2020. Although all candidates were strong, the jury voted unanimously for Enexis Groep as this year’s winner of Best Traineeship 2020: “The video pitch was very creative, authentic and gave insight into how the trainees experienced their traineeships. It’s a consistent, clear and complete story about how the traineeship is structured. There is always room for improvement but the Program Manager is aware and open about that. Trainees know why they do what they do and how it benefits them. Additionally, it’s clear how the organisation benefits from the trainees, as well.” Program Manager Mart Koeslag was flabbergasted. “We’re very happy! It’s a cliche but I really mean it: thanks to all trainees involved. It felt like being in a pressure cooker at times, to get a pitch ready in these challenging times, but the trainees were so passionate and I am proud we were able to pull it off. They did a fantastic job. Thank you jury and thank you trainees.”

Celebrating growth and evolution in traineeships.

Insights into impactful traineeships

As a social enterprise, Best Traineeship will continue to help organisations recognise and harness unique talents, and encourage young professionals to not only grow, but to thrive. Therefore we invite trainees to participate in our Trainee Survey. We would also like to invite Traineeship Program Managers to join our quarterly meetings. Four times a year we meet up with Traineeship Program Managers to inspire and support each other. Next meeting, on the 22th of April, the focus will be on the benchmark report and the insights gathered from it. This meeting is open to all Traineeship Program Managers in the Netherlands. We’re looking forward to helping more trainees and organisations learn, discover and grow this year! 

Interested in joining us?

Interested in joining the Traineeship Program Managers meeting and/or the Best Traineeship competition?