Find talent

Are you ready to be part of our SDG Youth Talent Programme? Apply now to be a host organisation!

In 2021, the Mercator Foundation Switzerland, together with cinfo, launched a new talent programme: the SDG Youth Talent Programme. The aim is to offer students and aspiring professionals the opportunity to gain work experience at an early stage with an NGO or social enterprise active in international cooperation.

Selected candidates are given the opportunity to work on new topics and innovative projects for one year, both in Switzerland and in an office abroad (or with a partner organisation of the host organisation). An important focus is on career development.

After two very successful programme years, we are happy to announce that we are now recruiting for our third cohort!

Apply to be a host organisation

Why this talent programme?

Increasing the visibility of international cooperation in Switzerland and promoting young talent

The visibility of this labour market is to be increased by giving students and prospective professionals a realistic insight into the working world of international cooperation.

Raising awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals

By working concretely on the projects of the host organisations, the trainees gain first-hand experience of how the SDGs are gradually being implemented.

Building bridges

The exchange of competencies between the Swiss labour market and the labour market of international cooperation is further promoted.

Skat Consulting is convinced that the SDG Youth Programme fills an important gap in the right way. If we care about poverty alleviation, we care about having the right people with the right competencies dedicated to solving the SDGs.

I personally had the privilege of having my mother's support to get into development aid 15 years ago. Not everyone has that privilege.

Providing better opportunities for young professionals is therefore essential. Skat Consulting is extremely grateful to have participated in this programme and to have benefited from the valuable insights of our trainee.
Julie Smolnitchi
Planning and Monitoring Manager
Skat Consulting Ltd.
Welcoming Janna, as part of the SDG Youth Programme allowed our team to tackle a challenge that we couldn't have taken up without external support. In two projects, Janna's work enabled to explore our questions in greater depth and then share them, and possible solutions, with all our teams and funding partners.

We are very pleased to have helped launch Janna's career in a field, development cooperation, where first jobs are hard to come by.
Patrick Kohler

For whom

Bachelor graduates (University or FH/HES) or graduates of an Advanced Federal Diploma of Higher Education, or a Federal Diploma of Higher Education, 

  • with no relevant professional experience in international cooperation yet
  • with Swiss citizenship or permanent residence permit C
  • with intrinsic motivation or demonstrated interest to contribute to the SDGs

The programme lasts 12 months, including preparation for the position, debriefing and follow-up of one week each.

Young talent...

  • discover their own motivation for international cooperation and the SDGs, in order to develop further in this direction if they wish
  • learn from experienced colleagues within the host organisation / partner organisations
  • make their know-how and expertise available to work on forward-looking subjects that lack resources
  • can transfer newly acquired knowledge and competencies back into the Swiss labour market / social life

Respective contributions

The Mercator Foundation Switzerland provides the trainees within this Talent Programme with a total of 2000-2500 CHF/month. Additionally, there will be a training and travel/transport budget as well as compulsory social security. These funds will be routed through the organisation.
The contribution of host organisations includes the advertisement of the position and participation in the recruitment process, the provision of a workplace and work equipment, supervision and guidance by a qualified professional. Also if the organisation wants to contribute to a pension scheme; this would need to be covered directly.

Complete the following steps to apply

1. Design or identify an internship position that meets these criteria

  • innovation aspects (future-oriented research, prototyping possibilities)
  • component with an assignment abroad
  • contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • potential to grow / unique learning experience

2. Complete and send us your application

Complete the Application to become a host organisation by 1 March 2023.

3. Remain available in case of questions or requests for clarification

The Mercator Foundation Switzerland and cinfo will make the selection by 15 March 2023.

Any questions?