Evaluation of LIFT youth project
LIFT ('Leistungsfähig durch individuelle Förderung und praktische Tätigkeit', http://jugendprojekt-lift.ch/) is an integration and prevention project for young people that focuses on the transition from lower-secondary education to upper-secondary level VET.
LIFT is intended specifically for 7th graders who are at a disadvantage when it comes to finding an apprenticeship and entering the labour market, i.e. poor scholastic achievement, lack of support from friends and family, low levels of self-esteem or motivation. The LIFT project also focuses on young people with a migration background or those who, due to their social or family environment, are at risk of not being able to enter initial VET and get access to the labour market.
The core elements of the LIFT project are regular, voluntary short-term assignments during school breaks - referred to as 'weekly workplaces' – in which young people work at local businesses in the respective region. Adolescents are selected by their teachers using LIFT criteria. Specialists then prepare them for their company assignments and provide guidance as needed.
SFIVET's Evaluation Unit has been externally evaluating the LIFT youth project since 2007.
Depending on the development of the project, different evaluation topics are addressed in different project phases, e.g.:
- Perception of LIFT by various stakeholders and persons involved
- Strengths and development potential of LIFT
- Conditions for successful LIFT implementation on site
- Analysis of actual practices on site
- Acquisition of soft skills by young people selected to take part in LIFT
- Selection of young people to take part in the LIFT project
- Activities at weekly workplaces
- Achievement of project objectives
- Solutions to facilitate transitions for LIFT youth after school, value of these transitional solutions
- Medium-term employment prospects of LIFT youth
A broad mix of methods is used for evaluation topics, including cross-sectional and longitudinal questionnaires, structured and semi-structured interviews as well as comparisons with statistical material from the cantons.
Tanja P. Schnoz-Schmied
Kompetenzzentrum LIFT, Bern / Centre de compétences LIFT, Berne