Evaluation of youth pilot project LIFT
The LIFT pilot project, which ran for three years (2007-2009), designed, tested and assessed new approaches to help academically and socially challenged young people; these approaches involved cooperation between schools, school authorities, parents, occupational guidance counsellors and the private sector.
Young people who were likely to encounter difficulties entering the labour market after completion of compulsory education were:
- singled out at an early stage (year 7)
- given targeted support (social skills)
- prepared for the realities of working life (jobs during the week)
- given professional support and eased into the labour market.
SFIVET’s Internal Evaluation Unit has been given the task of assessing the summative and formative aspects of the LIFT project.
In the summative part of the assessment, the following hypotheses will be tested:
- Of the young people sponsored by the LIFT project, at least 70-80% (criterion defined prior to the project start date) finish compulsory education with employment prospects that exceed (2) on the following scale: (0) no employment prospects, (1) bridge-year course/motivational semester/short-term traineeship, (2) Year 10 schooling without specific employment prospects, (3) unskilled job, (4) Year 10 schooling with specific employment prospects determined by the teaching staff, (5) Federal VET Certificate, (6) Federal VET Diploma.
- The young people sponsored by the LIFT project are more likely to have employment prospects that exceed (2) than comparable young people outside of the LIFT project.
- The dropout rate (number of young people withdrawing from the LIFT project without a compelling reason such as relocation etc.) within LIFT is low.
- The young people sponsored by the LIFT project have better employment prospects than comparable young people outside of the LIFT project.
- The young people sponsored by the LIFT project show a positive personality development, more desirable and/or less undesirable behaviour and have a more positive mindset/attitude than comparable young people outside of the LIFT project.
- The young people sponsored by the LIFT project are more satisfied than comparable young people outside of the LIFT project.
In order to test these hypotheses, two groups of young people will be established, the first comprised of young people who took part in the LIFT project and the second group comprised of young people who did not. Both groups will be compared on the basis of responses given to specific questions asked at various intervals. These questions will relate to such things as socio-demographic factors, their personal situation, personal, social and methodological skills (always in the form of self-assessment, sometimes also in the form of assessment by a third-party), personality traits and training situation.
In the formative part of the assessment, an external review of the LIFT project will be conducted. In concrete terms, the various actors and participants in the LIFT project will be asked to give their feedback regarding both individual aspects of the project as well as regarding the project as a whole; special emphasis will be placed on gathering concrete information that can be used to improve current practices and pave the way for future developments.
With regard to this, interviews will be conducted with staff who held key roles as well as with other participants. This will be done in order to determine their experiences with LIFT, their views on the usefulness of the project, its cost and rate of return, the extent to which expectations were met, aspects that can be eliminated, future challenges and suggestions for a possible continuation of the project.
Netzwerk für sozial verantwortliche Wirtschaft NSW, Bern / Réseau pour la responsabilité sociale dans l’économie RSE, Berne