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Reducing youth unemployment: innovative mentoring from Switzerland

Cost and Savings

Clearly, the major financial saving offered by the mentoring programme is a reduction in the social insurance (unemployment benefit) bill. On the other hand, the cost of the programme involves 80% of one local government officer's time, along with 20% of an administrator's time (totally approximately 120,000 Swiss francs). The officer position organises and supports the mentoring programme. It promotes the programme through the school system, the unemployment office, local media and, of course, face to face, as well as assessing the mentors and mentees and partnering them together. It also involves providing an introductory course and organising five conferences a year for the mentors. As well as infrastructure costs, a further 35,000 Swiss francs are spent on: professional development of staff, meeting costs, publications, books, events, consultants and evaluators.

In addition to this, the mentors provide their own voluntary time. Around 150 volunteer mentors have participated in the programme so far, with a range of professional backgrounds, covering industries such as: administration, hotels and restaurants, marketing and communications, social work, heath care, academia and skilled manual trades. The mentors support the mentees for approximately four hours a month, averaging around 30-40 hours in total.

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Emmeline Cooper wrote this case study for Governance International on 26 September 2011

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