Development Cooperation Trainee Programme

The Development Cooperation Trainee Programme familiarises you with complex coordination and management tasks in development cooperation.

What does the Development Cooperation Trainee Programme offer?

The programme begins on 1 July of each year and lasts 17 months, during which time you will learn hands-on about many different aspects of German and multilateral development cooperation. The programme focuses on technical cooperation (TC). Training begins in Germany with one month of preparation for your assignment abroad, comprising an induction period at GIZ Head Office and a preparatory programme at the German Academy for International Cooperation (AIZ).

This is followed by a 11-month assignment abroad, eight months of which will be spent working on a GIZ project in one of our partner countries and the remaining three months in a partner country or at the head office of another German or international organisation for development. You will then undertake a five-month assignment at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in Bonn or Berlin. 

Once you have completed this programme, you will be well qualified to take on a challenging post as a specialist or manager at GIZ, or within another German or international development institution.

What are the prerequisites?

You need to have a university degree (Bachelor or higher). Please refer to the relevant trainee programme advertisement for its specific profile requirements. You should also have gained some initial work experience (this can include internships) or hold a postgraduate qualification. Initial experience of working in a developing country and knowledge of development cooperation (this can similarly include internships) are desirable. The programme is open to people of any nationality, but it is important that you have a sound command of spoken and written German.

What are trainees paid?

€1,900 per month

Further Information

When can I apply for the Development Cooperation Trainee Programme?

The application window for the Development Cooperation Trainee Programme is open from 1-30 September each year. During this period you can apply for a maximum of two specific trainee posts advertised on our job opportunities page. Please ensure that you meet the requirements of the post or posts you apply for. You are not required to have completed your course of study at the time of submitting your application. Successful applicants are admitted into the Development Cooperation Trainee Programme on 1 July of the following year. We are unable to accept speculative applications for the Development Cooperation Trainee Programme or applications submitted outside of the application window. You should only submit applications during the application period in response to advertised vacancies.

How can I apply?

During the application period you can apply through our job opportunities page for specific development cooperation trainee posts with different specialisms. To view our current vacancies, simply click on Aktuelle Angebote für EZ-Trainees (current vacancies for development cooperation trainees) in the right-hand column. Please submit your application in German, using the electronic application form. Please attach a CV showing your relevant experience and a covering letter for the shortlisting process. You will receive an automated reply confirming receipt of your application. We cannot accept any applications submitted by post or email.

What will happen to my application?

The information in your application form will automatically be transferred to a database that can only be accessed from within GIZ. When you submit your application, you automatically consent to your data being stored electronically. Any changes you make to your online form after the application window has closed will not be taken into account.

Once the application window has closed, we will begin shortlisting applications.

We will write to all applicants after this initial shortlisting process, which should be completed by the end of December. Together with the relevant manager, we will then decide which applicants will be invited to the selection day. These are held between December and March of the recruitment year on a post-by-post basis.

Application check

Every year we receive many more applications for our Development Cooperation Trainee Programme than we have places to offer. The application check (see the link on the right) will give you an idea as to whether or not you meet the criteria for the programme, and whether or not your application has a good chance of being accepted.

Before you fill out the application check, select one or two trainee places that you find interesting from our ‘Current vacancies’. This is important because the last two questions relate directly to specific posts.

If you complete the application check outside the regular application deadlines, answer the last two questions with ‘Yes’.

Use of this service is voluntary. We do not evaluate the application checks on an individual basis, thus ensuring confidentiality. If you choose to take part, please be self-critical when answering the questions in the application check. You will receive a prompt and detailed response.