Work-Based Learning is an emerging best practice for disconnected youth. Well-designed work-based learning opportunities provide youth participants with occupational and work readiness training while also providing necessary income support for disconnected and at-risk individuals.
Showalter, T., & Spiker, K. (2016). Promising Practices in Worked-Based Learning for YOuth. Retrieved from https://www.nationalskillscoalition.org/resources/publications/file/10-4-NSC-YouthWorkBasedLearning_v4.pdf
Summer Youth Employment Programs (SYEP) are successful in providing work experience and supplement income during the summer to youth (16-24) who would not otherwise be working. About 1/3 of an evaluation of SYEP show a significant positive impact on labor market outcomes, either employment rates or earnings. Offering linkages and referrals to community resources, follow up and incentives are important key elements for success of SYEP.
Kluve, Jochen, et al. "Do Youth Employment Programs Improve Labor Market Outcomes? A Systematic Review." (2016).
According to a working paper entitled “What works for Disconnected Young People: A Scan of the Evidence” published by the MDRC, limited resources for outreach can mean that programs serve people who are motivated to apply on their own. As a result young people that fall on the chronically disconnected spectrum are often the most underserved. According to one study that reviewed several pilot programs for disconnected youth, programs that were able to overcome initial challenges in recruitment to workforce development programs typically used a combination of recruitment strategies simultaneously. Strategies for effective recruitment include: targeting high poverty areas, meeting youth where they are, establishing a robust social media presence and always recruiting in pairs by asking, “who else do you know”. Once recruited into a program solidifying a commitment for the second meeting is critical to maintain engagement in the program.
Treskon, L. (2016). What works for disconnected young people: A scan of the evidence. New York: MDRC.