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Commonwealth launches Young Professionals Programme

28 October 2014

The Commonwealth Secretariat announced today the launch of a Young Professionals Programme as part of its ongoing commitment to youth development and empowerment.

Qualified young people from Commonwealth member countries will be given the opportunity to contribute to the Commonwealth’s work in international development and democracy, and to build their skills in its culturally diverse, professional environment.

With the Young Professionals Programme, the Commonwealth is underlining its commitment to youth development and empowerment, giving more young graduates the chance to benefit from substantive, paid junior-level roles.

The Young Professionals will be based at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London, taking up two-year positions in divisions such as Economic Policy, Rule of Law, Human Resources and Youth. During this time, they will provide technical and administrative support to programmes and operations, and benefit from professional development and mentoring.

Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma said: “I look forward to welcoming these young people into our midst. This is an innovative programme, and we are conscious of the immense contribution young people can make to our work – bringing fresh perspectives and new talent. It is another example of our pioneering approach, and the way in which the Commonwealth continues to break new ground.”

Katherine Ellis, Director of Youth at the Commonwealth Secretariat, said: “Young people are assets to any organisation, and more importantly to national development, bringing unique experiences, perspectives, and energy.

“It is vital to create meaningful opportunities for them to pursue productive career paths. Too often, young people are being expected to take on unpaid or subsistence level internships to get a foot in the door. This does not properly value their contribution, and can act as a barrier to young people from less privileged backgrounds, who usually cannot afford to work for free.”

There are 27 positions currently designated for the Young Professionals Programme – around 10% of the total staff of the Commonwealth Secretariat. Recruitment will begin this week and be staggered over following months.

To be eligible, applicants must be Commonwealth nationals, be 27 years or younger at the time of application, and possess a level of qualifications and experience relevant to each role. They must also have excellent English language and interpersonal skills, and demonstrate commitment to the values of the Commonwealth.

Young professionals interested in this exciting opportunity can find out more at: thecommonwealth.org/youngprofessionals

Recruitment enquiries: 

Email: hq-recruitment@commonwealth.int