A Save the Children staff member transports boxes of solar lamps.

Trainee Scheme

Humanitarian programme for graduates

An exhilarating, intensive, year-long trainee scheme that helps individuals break through the humanitarian career barrier.

The Humanitarian Trainee Scheme provides successful graduates looking for a long-term career in the sector with a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience in emergencies and crisis response operations.

The Humanitarian Trainee Scheme (HTS) is an intensive 12-month programme building national capacity in the humanitarian sector.

Having run for over ten years with a proven track record of training future outstanding humanitarians, the HTS combines structured expert-led training, work placements, mentoring and rigorous academic study. Successful HTS graduates receive credits towards a Master’s programme and gain invaluable experience to develop their career within the humanitarian sector.

In Bangladesh, Jordan, Kenya and Ethiopia, the HTS is delivered under the Talent Development project funded by DFID through the START network as part of the Disasters and Emergencies Preparedness Programme.

Please note: the UK Humanitarian Trainee Scheme will not be running in 2017; and the 2017 cohorts for the Jordan, Bangladesh and Kenyan programmes are full.

Who is it aimed at?

If you are a graduate with exceptional communication skills and the motivation and commitment to be part of the next generation of ground-breaking humanitarians, then this programme is for you. The HTS is designed to provide entry-level opportunities for people with less than two years' NGO experience.

Applicants must be eligible to live and work in the UK, Kenya, Ethiopia, Bangladesh or Jordan and need to be prepared for deployment at short notice to insecure environments, where they will be expected to work in, and adapt to, extremely challenging situations.

Course breakdown

The trainee scheme lasts for one year and is composed of two integrated elements: learning and a work placement.

There are three modules throughout the scheme which incorporate face-to-face classroom learning, simulation training, experiential learning, distance learning and personal reflection as well as intensive academic study and the submission of written assignments in English. Trainees are supported by a coach throughout the HTS. 

Trainees have a 12-month work placement where they gain hands on experience in the humanitarian sector. Approximately six months are spent in the office of an INGO, NGO or government department which implements humanitarian programmes. A further six months are spent on deployment working in a humanitarian programme.

More information

Save the Children will pay for all residential training courses, accreditation fees, medical insurance (return flight and monthly stipend whilst on deployment for UK trainees only) and any necessary vaccinations; the host agency will provide and pay for accommodation and work-related travel whilst the trainee is on deployment.

  • UK-based trainee schemes: Applicants must be eligible to work in the UK immediately and be able to finance their own upkeep (including accommodation) during their HQ placement in the first six months of the programme. Trainees will be provided with a stipend whilst on deployment.
  • Non-UK-based trainee schemes: Applicants must be eligible to work in the country where the scheme is held. Trainees will receive a stipend for the duration of their traineeship.

Contact the following for specific regional Trainee Schemes: 

How to apply

Please note: There are currently no plans to recruit participants for a Humanitarian Trainee Scheme and the programme has been closed. However, all of the learning gathered from this scheme is being shared, and will be integrated into the delivery of our other programmes.

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