BRIDGE addresses the urgent urban challenge of better aligning young people’s educational choices with future labour market needs. Rapid transformation of many sectors of the Rotterdam economy has already started to change the skills that are required from the workforce. The associated unprecedented new economic opportunities and challenges will drastically change labour market needs, qualification and skill gaps are expected to grow significantly. This is especially urgent in the case of young people who grow up in deprived areas.
The target area of South Rotterdam (200.000 inhabitants) has major disadvantages across key socio-economic indicators compared to the rest of Rotterdam and the country. Unemployment is at 21%, 32% of the children grow up in poverty and 39% of children have parents with no/low formal education. First and second generation migrants make up 74% of the population in the focus areas of South Rotterdam. In this context, young people make career choices that lack a realistic labour market perspective. The result is a persistent situation in which although the work is there, many of the 2.000 young people from South Rotterdam annually entering the labour market cannot realistically compete. Neither in the current, nor in the EU vision of a green digital economy.
The proposed innovative urban action ensures that by 2020, 50% of secondary vocational training students in South Rotterdam, will have chosen a career in one of the major growth sectors. This ambitious goal will be achieved through close cooperation between employers, schools, national and local government. Pupils will follow a programme centered on the opportunities relating to the Green Digital Economy major growth sectors. Bringing together all 68 primary schools, 20 secondary schools and 3 vocational schools in South Rotterdam, all pupils and their parents will take part in the programme. This career and talent orientation programme will start in primary school (age 9) and end when students enter the labour market.
The crucial element in the programme is the Career Start Guarantee. Employers will offer 600 pupils per year a Career Start guarantee (420 for technology sectors and 180 for healthcare) at the moment they enter secondary vocational education and need to make the most crucial subject and career choices. Provided that the pupil chooses the training that the labour market needs, an employer will commit in advance to that individual with a guaranteed career start after graduation. Impact investment instruments (public subsidy based impact investing, social return on investment and social impact bonds) are an integral part of the project, supporting scaling and mainstreaming of the programme.
- Gemeente Rotterdam
- Metropoolregio Rotterdam Den Haag - Organised agglomeration
- SEOR B.V. - Research center
- Hogeschool Rotterdam - Rotterdam University of Applied Science
- RebelGroup Executives BV- Private Company
- A continuous actualised overview of future orientated relevant skills and jobs
- Yearly, 1.800 pupils form 9 years up will start an intensive and innovative career orientation program
- Yearly 600 pupils take up the offer of a Career Start Guarantee
- 16.000 pupils and their parents are reached by the skills development programme that includes a digital talent portfolio
- A 30% shift of students towards a study in promising sectors
- On the long run: Career start Guarantees are expected to decrease unemployment by 20% for recent graduates
- Over 300 employers committed
- Decrease in vocational student drop outs by 10%.
- A sound defined monitoring plan to provide evidence for the economic, financial and social impact for continuation and replication
- A clear predefined set of criteria and for continuation into the second phase (2020-2025) and continuation until 2032
- Continuation after 2019 through private public financial instruments of up to € 3.000.000
February 2017: Start implementation career orientation programme. Start acquiring new Career Start Guarantees by working out the arrangements and agreements with employers. Yearly this must lead to 600 pupils taking up a Career Starting Guarantee. Career Start Garantees are offered to pupils in the final class of the secondary school, if they choose a vocational training with a high job potential in the future economy
December 2017: Parent empowerment program developed. Goal is to train 60 teachers in the importance of career guidance and skill development to pupils at an early age. And also to take initiative in involving parents and guardians in career guidance and skill development of the pupils. Future Jobs and Skills implementation agenda for the next Economy developed. Set of indicators for calculation of the economic, financial and social impact
August 2018: Start Next Economy Mentor programme for students in secondary education. Through this mentor activity programme, 3.000 pupils in Rotterdam South will be receiving 1-on-1 mentoring from a student from the Hogeschool Rotterdam who will receive education credits (ECTS) for this.
October 2019: All schools in South Rotterdam organize a career orientation program for their pupils from age 9 until the student enters the labor market In 2019 all pupils work with a digital talent portfolio to support them in discovering and understanding their talents and passions, and how these fit into the labour market. 1-on-1 mentoring of pupils from Rotterdam South that are in secondary education. Additional support to pupils in order to help them to qualify for a higher level of graduation.
Through BRIDGE activities and interventions, a total of 1.800 students (600 per year) will start an education in a promising sector with the aid of a Career Start Guarantee
Short and long term monitoring and impact evaluation
"This financial support from Europe is a fantastic acknowledgement for innovative career guidance developed by mentors, deans, teachers and employers for the pupils on in Rotterdam South. This is a huge impulse enabling us to do even more for the young people in Rotterdam South."