In socio-economic terms, South Rotterdam is lagging behind the rest of Rotterdam, the other major cities and the Netherlands as a whole. This is reflected, for example, in the fact that unemployment in South Rotterdam is considerably higher. But there are many other problems, such as an educational disadvantage, poorer housing quality and crime.
Building the Right Investments for Delivering a Growing Economy, or BRIDGE, is a three-year programme that is financially supported by the European Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) fund. The aim of the programme is to help young people in South Rotterdam to acquire a stronger position on the labour market. BRIDGE consists of over twenty educational interventions in primary and (lower and upper) secundary education. The main goal of these interventions is to promote the choice for a study in the field of technology, port-related logistics or health care.
SEOR has carried out the monitoring and evaluation of BRIDGE. The research shows that the programme has led to an increase in the range of interventions in recent years and the introduction of new interventions. The focus on technology, port-related and health care fields is a good choice in terms of labour market perspectives.
A comparison between South and North Rotterdam does not provide evidence that BRIDGE has effectively shifted students' educational choices. However, the available data has some deficiencies complicating our analysis. Hence, a small positive effect - although unlikely - cannot be completely ruled out. We have investigated what effect size is needed to offset the costs of the program. When only one percent of the students in South Rotterdam shift from a study with a poor labour market perspective to a study with a good labour market perspective, BRIDGE would be cost effective.