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Reducing youth unemployment: inclusive mentoring in Basel, Switzerland


In the last few years a growing number of school leavers have been registering at the unemployment offices in Switzerland, with young women and non-Swiss young people disproportionally affected. Clearly, the transition from school to the labour market is a challenging time for young people. They need to grapple with a mix of questions and thoughts about their future when they're deciding on their next steps. And during this process, they can often become disappointed and discouraged, making the search for  apprenticeships and placements even more difficult.

The mentoring programme was established in Basel to offer support for young people (school leavers up to 25 year olds) who are having difficulties finding a  apprenticeship or placement. It establishes a mentoring relationship between unemployed young people and experienced adults, which gives the young people a helping hand and enables them to get started on their career. This personal relationship between the mentor and mentee helps develop young people's ability to define and focus on their goals, as well as cope with the frustrations of the search process.

In summary, the programme aims to:

  • strengthen the boldness and stamina of mentees, while they are searching for placements or apprenticeships;

  • discuss mentees future plans and assess their skills and expertise;

  • set goals;

  • help with planning the steps needed to achieve these goals;

  • help with collecting and using relevant information;

  • encouragement in finding a placement or apprenticeship;

  • use mentees own professional networks; and

  • provide further contacts (through mentees' professional and personal networks) for further advice and support.

A brief summary of the programme's process is provided below.


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

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