Best Traineeship 2022 – The Awards

Mar 24, 2023

On the 10th of March, the day we were waiting for finally arrived – the 2022 Best Traineeship Awards. Our finalists gathered with us at the Academiegebouw in Utrecht, eager to pitch to our judges why they had the Best Traineeship. 

The judges, Kieran Canisius, Marco Koot, and Rani Zuidervliet, were joined by the winner of the 2021 Trainee Manager award, Mart Koeslag (formerly of Enexis Groep), and had the difficult task of deciding the winners.

Focus 2022 and 2023

Our own values of innovation and evolution mean that we share our own vision for the future – “Driving traineeship excellence to build better futures.” This drives us to implement learning and improvements in these areas:

  1. Strengthening knowledge sharing.
  2. Effectively collect and share data.
  3. Showcase the Best Traineeships.

Through these critical focus areas, we are showcasing the achievements of our winners, our Best Practice champions, and our own data gathered from our Benchmark Survey. 

State of Traineeship Industry Report

As we gather the data and create our Company Benchmark Reports, this allows us to identify  the (emerging) trends) within traineeships and provides insight into how the industry can take the quality of their traineeships to the next level.

Kieran Canisius led us through the trends over the past eight (8) years and shared with us this year’s top category – Program management. This standard is defined by Best Traineeship as:

“The management of the traineeship program upholds clear traineeship program standards and quality measurements that drive continuous improvement and strategic impact of the traineeship program. “

Over the last eight years, Personal Branding traded off with Program Management as the category seen as most important by Trainees. However, during 2020, the most important standard was Learning and Development– which potentially could be the influence of Covid-19.

She then led us through the top elements of a traineeship, as identified by the trainees themselves, and showed us what trainees felt were the least important items.

This year’s featured research was “Recruitment – The Battle For Talent”, and as part of the survey, trainees also shared their experiences. We learned more about trainees’ personal journeys, why they chose particular traineeships, and how motivated they are by their experiences. We’ll write more about this in the upcoming blogs!

Are you interested in seeing how your company compares with the benchmarks this year’s winners set? Our benchmark report is available so you can see how your traineeship compares.

Keynote Speaker – Geertje Peneder

Geertje Peneder took the floor after this session, and led us in an fascinating session on the Multi-Generational Workforce. She spoke about the benefits each generation brings to the workplace and how we can better integrate and adapt to the changing dynamics within the workforce.

It was evident that Geertje’s presentation captivated the room, and her energy as a speaker was infectious. Everyone engaged with the information presented, and conversation flowed, triggered by her expert questions.  Experiences within the multi-generational workforce were shared, and she left us with incredible insights and action points to take back to our own workplaces.

The Pitches

Each trainee team was invited to present a 5 minute pitch on their traineeships, followed by a jury and audience question time. They shared their experiences, and what made their particular company’s Traineeship a standout. This year’s finalists were Talent in Huis, Enexis, Fugro and ProRail.

What you may have noticed, we presented 4 awards instead of our usual 5. This year, we did not announce a winner of the Performance Improvement standard. During the first two rounds of the competition, we did not identify a company that stood out as the strongest in this category. We hold our Best Standard awards in high esteem, and therefore decided that this year we would not award a winner in this category.  

Talent in Huis
Enexis Groep

It was clear that all the teams spoke with passion, and shared their experiences with pride. The four finalists were impressive, and we knew that it would be a difficult decision to decide on who would win.

The Winners

The moment we were waiting for arrived – first the winners of the Best Practice Awards.

Return on Investment: ProRail

Our jury was impressed by your high retention rate in your trainees. Ex-trainees move through the company to the highest levels, including to the Executive level, expressing the high value in which you hold your traineeships and the value they add to ProRail.

Learning and Development: Enexis Groep

It is impressive to see the innovative ways in how you weave experience and interplay together to create a safe place for traineeships. Equally as impressive for our judges was the way learning and development is implemented for the whole company, as few companies structure and embed this learning for supervisors, mentors and other team members to improve their programs continuously.

Balanced Projects: Fugro

Your trainees have the freedom and flexibility within their traineeships to embrace their mistakes as part of the learning process. This sets you apart within the competition and this unique aspect impressed the jury. This method clearly identifies individual needs and selects the best strategy for trainee projects.

Personal Branding: Talent in Huis

During the jury interview, it was clear to the jury that your trainee not only understood Personal Branding but knew how he could utilize it effectively, both personally and professionally. His excellent overview of his qualities, challenges and how he can ove come these impressed the jury. That in combination with the benchmark survey scores, was a clear case.

Then the Young Talent Manager for 2022 was announced and went to Manon van Beek of Fugro. What set Manon apart from the rest was the fact she received 100% of the trainee votes – a truly remarkable achievement.

From her trainees:

 “She has raised the bar on this traineeship and turned it from a guinea pig project into a global program with an extremely high learning curve and significant more exposure.”


“Manon van Beek, for her invaluable energy, care and commitment to making this idea for a traineeship into a fully professional and global traineeship!”

And finally, the overall Best Traineeship for 2022 went to ProRail, an announcement met with much enthusiasm. The jury felt that their commitment to creating quality traineeships and high retention rates set them apart from the rest, earning them this year’s highest recognition.

A unique and diverse group of trainees benefit from the ProRail program, with traineeship groups a mixed layer of experience. Trainees are recruited on a continual basis, meaning that a lot of learning and sharing is found between the trainees.  Through their strong traineeship program, they educate 55,000 ProRail employees, and have strong and effective traineeship content.

We want to congratulate this year’s well-deserved winners, and celebrate their passion for creating incredible opportunities for trainees to grow and develop over the coming months with a series of featured articles.

Best Traineeship in 2023

While the competition is over for 2022, there are still some key dates in 2023 to consider.

Our plan is in June, to host a data-sharing event to give insights into the Benchmark Report with interested organizations and create opportunities to network and gain insights into the critical data we collect about traineeships. More about that to come!

Registration for the 2023 competition is open, and until May 31st, we’re offering an early bird discount on registrations. Don’t forget to enter,  and showcase why your traineeship is the best (or still the best!),

Of course, if you’d like to compare your traineeship against this year’s benchmarks, it’s still possible to do so by requesting our Benchmark Report. If you do not want to participate in the annual competition but do want to learn how you compare and what you could improve, request it on our website!  See where your trainees place your company, or take advantage of our early bird discount and register for the 2023 competition here.

See you in 2023!


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