Insights from The Best Traineeship Peer Circle 

Dec 20, 2023

While our annual competition is our highlight, did you know we host or present at other events during the year? From in-company training sessions on the trends and insights into traineeships to our latest addition, the Peer Circle. Hosted by ProRail in their Utrecht offices in October, this event brought together Young Talent Managers from various companies gather to exchange ideas, take an in-depth look at past and emerging trends, and learn more about this year’s Featured Research.  

Inside the Peer Circle 

Picture a day commencing with warm introductions, which set the stage for an interesting presentation from our 2022 winner, ProRail. Yvonne Oostvogels shared insights from their traineeship and how it is structured, and shared their triumphs, lessons, and their takeaways from last year’s competition. This was followed by an introduction to the Best Traineeship competition, with more information provided on the stages of the competition.  

Prior to the event, we surveyed the participants to draw on their collective knowledge and give their input and ideas on what topics they felt would be valuable to them. With this input we created the day’s program around the data and trends relating to the evolution of traineeships., and how this played with our data over the past 7 years.  There is a defined shift from the importance of Personal Branding to the rise of Learning and Development as a trainee priority noted in our data. Amidst these shifts, the perennial theme of talent retention echoed, sparking interesting dialogues among the Young Talent managers. 

Sharing Experiences 

The morning transitioned into an exchange of experiences, in breakout group format among traineeship program managers, a melting pot of insights, and ‘AH-HA!’ moments. Here, perspectives revolved around what should a strong onboarding strategy look like and concluding that that the diversity in these approaches directly relate to the short- and long-term goals of the traineeship.  

Trainees whose primary purpose is inciting change e.g. managing an aging workforce or transition to digital and automation could benefit from a ‘trainee only” onboarding as they will benefit from tight knit relationships to steering them through the challenging waters of change management.    

Other trainees benefit from participation in the “company wide” onboarding approach, as their projects are situated in existing positions, therefore requiring a higher level of comfort with embedding themselves into the current office climate. One of the conclusions reached in the  breakout sessions is that Trainee onboardings are not cast from a singular mold but pivot on the trainee’s destination within the organizational tapestry. 

Our discussions looked into the future of learning and development within organizations, spotlighting the seamless integration of these paradigms within trainee programs and ensuring the future for tomorrow’s leaders.  

Featured Research 2023 

Part of our day was dedicated to selecting the theme of the 2023 Best Traineeship featured research. The selection of featured research topics that was discussed were what trainees value most in their programs, the development of learning and development offerings, the impact of diversity, and the pivotal equilibrium between work and traineeship spheres, and shape the future of leadership.  

There was a tie between two topics, so we took the voting home and looked carefully over the day, and the discussions, and decided that shape the future of leadership was the ideal choice.

The Featured Research 2023 is all about predicting the essential skills that will be crucial for future leaders. The trainee input will play a pivotal role in shaping training programs that will guide the leaders of tomorrow. 

The reason we made this decision is that we wanted to drive transparency and insight across many companies about how their trainees see the requirements for future leadership and adding their collective voice to the conversations that matter regarding the development of traineeships as an ultimate driver of future success as a company and individual.  

Stay tuned as we further describe and discuss 2023 Featured Research topic in an upcoming article! 

The Ongoing Journey 

This year’s Peer Circle was a triumph, with exciting idea exchanges and the opportunity to connect with other trainee managers. We’re also learning from your feedback – we also learned what we could do differently next time. Resounding feedback from the attendees that the even needs to be at least 1-2 hours longer, a bit more time in the same environment would give much more value.  

The Peer Circle was about gathering the wealth of knowledge, and the collective intelligence of Young Talent managers to ensure the building of high-quality traineeships. We wanted to dive deeper into their expertise, and share our insight as well.  

The data that we gather from the competition is essential knowledge to any trainee manager, and we want to share this to create high-quality traineeships that pave the way for tomorrow’s leaders.  

Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date with our competition and insights. Over the coming weeks, we’ll reveal our featured research and update you on the latest planned events. Of course, you can always arrange to have us come and speak to your company, organize your own Peer Circle event with us, and get access to valuable insights from the Best Traineeship competition.  

In this shared world of quality traineeships, a wealth of wisdom is waiting to be explored. Your partnership in this journey toward nurturing exceptional traineeships is pivotal. Let’s craft the future of traineeships together! 

Although entries have closed for the 2023 competition, our trainee survey allows trainees to voice their thoughts on vital aspects of their traineeships. Click here to go to the survey, share your thoughts on your traineeship, and help shape the future of traineeships within the competition. 


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