Bridging to Education

How do we ensure that as many young people as possible start an education and complete it? The project, Bridging to Education studies whether an education-directed effort in vocational schools can contribute to the young people completing an ordinary education or finding a job.

Time period:

2013 – 2014.

Target group:

The originally intended target group was young people with cognitive problems with no social skill deficiencies and young people who were lacking in social skills, but who did not have any cognitive problems.

However, an updated target group description shows that the participants in the project have massive personal, social and academic problems – and therefore are considerably more challenged than first assumed.    

Number of participants:

12 bridging programmes in vocational schools different places in Denmark. 2623 participants.


Bridging to Education is a project, which serves to support and study, how more young people can get an education (primary outcome) or job (secondary outcome). This will be achieved through different efforts where it, among other things, is attempted to upgrade the young people’s skills in mathematics and Danish, such that the young has skills corresponding to compulsory school leaving exams.  

The project takes place in real educational environments, typically the vocational schools, where the young people can identify with peers, who have already started an education.

All the involved (including job centre, vocational school and municipality) in the project work with one common education plan for the young. The plan is based on existing knowledge about the young.

Furthermore, the young person is given a daily schedule, which is supposed to promote progression and prepare the person for commencing in an ordinary education. Moreover, the young is assigned a mentor, who helps and supports the young regarding cognitive and personal problems and eases and supports the transition to an education.    


Propensity score matching is used to measure the effects of the project. A control group is constructed based on register information, which on all measurable parameters (that is gender, age, ethnicity, diagnoses, school leaving grades, educational end employment histories etc.) look like the participants in the project. Thus, the participant group and the comparison group are balanced on all relevant variables, and there are no significant differences on these at the beginning of the project.    


Center for Ungdomsforskning (Centre for Youth Research), Deloitte, Metrica, Ministry of education, Ministry of Employment’s Agency for Labour Market and Recruitment (STAR).    


Overall, participation in the project, Preparation towards education, has a significant positive effect on the young people regarding education. Specifically, 45,2% participants continue to education after the project, while 7,7% continue to a job. Furthermore, it appears that 25 weeks after the start of the project, the share of young people in education is 15 percentage points higher than a comparison group who did not get the effort.

More young people (16%) consider beginning an education after they have participated in the project, and more find out what they want to do in the future.

Last, this project has moved some students, who at the beginning of the project could not assess, whether they could handle an education (the fraction decreases from 33% to 19% in the end of project).     

Project Group

Anne Görlich

Center for Ungdomsforskning


Niels-Henrik M. Hansen

Center for Ungdomsforskning


Noemi Katznelson

Professor og centerleder
Center for Ungdomsforskning



No publications.