Evaluation of the 'LIFT Züri' project
'LIFT Züri' has provided school pupils requiring extra career guidance with the opportunity to undertake regular work placements at companies and to gain valuable experience in the world of work. The evaluation took account of target attainment, the determination of success factors, optimisation potential and acceptance of the project by participants and the parties involved.
'LIFT Züri' provides school pupils in the city of Zurich requiring extra career guidance with the opportunity to undertake 2 x 12 placements at private sector companies, municipal institutions or charitable organisations. In return, they receive small remuneration of 5 Swiss francs an hour and an assessment report at the end of the placement. The companies provide them with a workplace for 12 placements with supervision. These weekly workplaces will be acquired and managed by the career centre on behalf of the education authority. The career centre also arranges the company placements for pupils. At school, the pupils receive support of 90 minutes a week for 12 months from the 'LIFT Züri' module supervisor.
The evaluation covered the implementation of this project for the first cohort which began in April 2020.
The evaluation covered the main questions set out below:
- Target attainment: to what extent does the project meet the targets set? In particular: is there evidence that participation in the 'LIFT Züri' project facilitates the transition from school to the world of work? Does participation in the programme improve the position of young people (skills, motivation etc.) for successful transition?
- Success factors and optimisation potential: what works well in terms of the concept, general conditions and implementation of the 'LIFT Züri' project and what can be improved? The following areas are of interest:
- The resources available
- Modular courses at the schools
- Supervision of the work placement
- Acquisition of the weekly workplaces by the career centre
- Support of the schools by the career centre and the education authority
- General cooperation between schools, career centre and education authority.
- Acceptance: how do the participants and parties involved rate 'LIFT Züri'? How satisfied are they with it?
To record and present the wide range of perspectives and project experiences of the various participants and parties involved as broadly as possible, a mixed-method approach was selected where both qualitative (focus groups and telephone interviews) and quantitative data collection methods (online surveys) were used.
The subjective assessments on target attainment and acceptance of 'LIFT Züri' by project participants were very positive. Around 90% of the module supervisors, class teachers and school pupils participating in 'LIFT Züri' agreed with the statement that young people have a better chance of finding an apprenticeship thanks to 'LIFT Züri'. 'LIFT Züri' is also seen as a good way of helping young people facing difficult circumstances to obtain a career start. They are more self-confident thanks to the work placement and more motivated generally to find an apprenticeship thanks to 'LIFT Züri'. This does not just apply to the choice of career, but also to school attendance to some extent. After 'LIFT Züri', young people have a better understanding of what they are good at and less good at. All class teachers and almost 90% of module supervisors and school pupils (tend) to agree with the statement that 'LIFT Züri' is a very worthwhile project. The recommendation rate is actually even a little higher.
The valuable experience provided by an early, realistic insight into the world of work and the understanding of the importance of punctuality, reliability and other general and personal skills has a positive effect on the development of the young people. Shy young people, in particular, indicated that they gained greater self-belief and self-initiative. Those surveyed indicated that the values, norms and behaviour in a professional environment learned by young people participating in LIFT were further positive effects of 'LIFT Züri'.
The evaluation did not identify any fundamental need for change or improvement in 'LIFT Züri'. Recommendations concern details. In addition to the assessments of the participants and parties involved of various project elements and the success of the project, the search for apprenticeships and, in particular, the extent to which young people are successful in finding an apprenticeship after completing mandatory school education are co-determining factors in providing a conclusive evaluation of the impact of 'LIFT Züri'. This could not be assessed during this evaluation period and has therefore not been taken into account. However, the positive results set out indicate target attainment.