Context of the Evaluation:
France has a high rate of unemployment, especially among younger people. In 2011, the unemployment rate for people aged 15-24 was 29 percent. Even those with advanced degrees face difficult labor market prospects: a recent survey of French universities showed that one quarter of graduates were still looking for employment a year after graduating, and even five years after completing their degree a significant portion were still unemployed or underemployed. Less than half of college graduates had found employment that matches their qualifications.
Details of the Intervention:
Researchers partnered with Association Frateli to evaluate the impact of mentoring and support services on labor market outcomes for students. Association Frateli is an organization working in French universities to provide job-related mentoring and support services to help students from lower socio-economic backgrounds, enter the job market and find work that matches their qualifications.
Over two years, students in three French universities were randomly assigned to either a treatment group, which received Frateli’s program, or a comparison group, which did not. The program provided students in the treatment group with a package of three services: (1) personal mentoring, (2) collective workshops with other students in the program, and (3) opportunities to interact with other students through an online network.
Results and Policy Lessons:
Project ongoing; results forthcoming.