United Nations Young Professional Programme – Launch your Career at the United Nations

Young professionals programme

Program(s) Offered: Several fields
Program Level: Training, Development
Provider: United Nations Secretariat
Country to Study in: Several countries

Programme Description
The United Nations is looking for highly qualified candidates who are ready to launch a professional career as an international civil servant.

The United Nations Young Professionals Programme (YPP) is a recruitment initiative by the United Nations Secretriat for selecting talented, highly qualified professionals to start a career with the Secretariat as an international civil servant. Recruitment is through an annual entrance examination, and for the young, high-calibre professionals spread across the globe, this examination is a platform for launching this career.

This programme builds upon the national competitive recruitment examination (NCRE) which was held for the last time in 2010.

United Nations Young Professional Programme

The YPP examination is held once a year and is open to nationals of countries participating in the annual recruitment exercise. The list of participating countries is published annually and varies from year to year.

Basic application criteria:
  • You must have the nationality of a participating country.
  • You must hold at least a first-level university degree relevant for the exam area you are applying for.
  • You must be 32 or younger by the end of the examination.
  • You must be fluent in either English or French.
Participation of staff of the United Nations:
This examination is also held for staff members of the United Nations Secretariat who work within the General Service and other related categories and aspire to a career within the Professional and higher categories.

For more information about staff members participating in the young professionals programme, do visit the official website.

Eligible groups
Each year, countries that are un- or under-represented in the United Nations, are invited to take part in the Young Professionals Programme.

Countries taking part in the Programme this year are:
Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Czech Republic, Dominica, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Indonesia, Iraq, Jamaica, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mauritania, Monaco, Montenegro, Mozambique, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Palau, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Swaziland, Syria, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United States, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Zambia

Participating Institutions
The United Nations

Program and Exam Areas
Depending on the staffing needs of the United Nations, applicants are invited to apply for different exam areas. Descriptions of responsibilities, expected competencies and education requirements differ depending on the area.

YPP examinations are held annually in particular job families according to the needs of the Organization. The 2015 YPP exam will be offered in the following job families:
  1. Administration
  2. Finance
  3. Legal Affairs
  4. Public Information
  5. Social Affairs
  6. Statistics
Number of awards
There is no preset number. The number depends on the achievement of examinees going through the competitive process.

At the application stage, in instances where a large number of applications are received (more than 40 per job family in a given country), the Central Review Examinations Board reserves the right to admit to the examination only the most qualified candidates based on a review of the qualifications which are over and above the minimum entrance criteria.

Programme and Its benefits
It consists of an entrance examination and professional development programmes once successful candidates start their career with the UN.

Method of Application
In its most basic form, there is a 3-step Application Process:
  1. Confirm your eligibility
  2. Create a profile and prepare an application
  3. Submit your application
After you have finished filling out your application, click on APPLY NOW. Read the information on the Apply Now page, select Confirm, then select “Choose Existing Application”. Select the one you just completed and click on Continue.

Evaluation of the application:
Your application is first screened to determine if you are eligible for the examination in the job family you applied for. If your country has a total of over 40 applicants found eligible in a given job family, and you are one of them, your application is evaluated in terms of education, experience, languages, and other skills.If it is determined that your application is within the 40 best from your country, you will be contacted to take part in the written portion of the examination.

Recruitment Process:
If you are successful, you will be considered for YPP vacancies as they become available. You will be given an opportunity to indicate your preference(s) for duty stations and job functions at the time of the oral examination. While efforts are made to take preferences into account this may or may not be possible.

The examination is held worldwide and is open to nationals of countries participating in the annual recruitment exercise – the list of participating countries is published annually and varies from year to year.

The 2015 YPP Exam will take place on Tuesday 15 December 2015

Application periods and deadlines for the various job families:
  • 20 May – 19 July: Administration
  • 27 May – 26 July: Finance
  • 3 June – 2 August: Statistics
  • 10 June – 9 August: Public Information
  • 17 June – 16 August: Social Affairs
  • 24 June – 23 August: Legal Affairs
If your country of nationality is not listed that means you are not eligible to apply at this stage. The reason why the examination is not open to all nationalities is that the Young Professionals Programme examination is designed to recruit nationals of countries which are not adequately represented in the United Nations Secretariat. You should check every year as to which nationals are eligible to participate in the examination as geographic representation changes.

Application Deadline: Varies (19 July - 23 August 2015)
Open to International Applicants: Yes

More Scholarship Information and Application

Related: Vocational Training and Development Scholarships for Students

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