The aim of the monitoring is to detect existing risks among youths in different centres – among others in the motivation’s semester (SeMO) of the state office for economy (seco) – and thereby allow the possibility for adequate interventions.

In its last report about the motivation semesters (SeMo) 1999-2000 the seco has directed its attention towards the group of youths who abandon the SeMo or who find themselves in yet another transition program after its completion. One possible hypothesis is that this group does not fail due to a lack of apprenticeship offers, but because of a lack of personal resources and a difficult social situation. It seems that in order to help these young people the psychosocial problems that they encounter need to be addressed.

The idea of monitoring stems from this context. The concept is tightly linked with the concept of secondary prevention: it is based on the principle of preventing the development of mental illnesses by giving adequate support to people in difficult situations (psychological problems, behavioural problems, substance abuse etc.). Therefore, it is important to identify existing risks and to take targeted measures.

Between December 2004 and June 2005 we have collected data about the psychosocial situation of around 1200 young women and men from the German- and French-speaking part of Switzerland with the aid of an extensive questionnaire on the Internet. Following risk factors were searched for: mental health, behavioural problems, substance consumption and social context (the sociobiographical history of the young people).

The result of this data collection verified the hypothesis of the seco: around 40% of the participants attracted attention because of risk factors. The large proportion of participants presenting risk factors shows the necessity to offer adequate help in the SeMo. It seems that the usual offers do not suffice to integrate these young people into the working life. Even if there was a sufficient number of apprenticeship places, these youths would find it difficult to accomplish this kind of training due do their psychosocial difficulties.

The improvement of the occupational and social integration of these youths presenting a higher risk does not belong to the task domain of the unemployment insurance, and demands an inter-institutional collaboration between the fields of health, education, social services and economy, and on different levels, such as the community, the canton and the confederation.

Based on the existing results, we have developed a secondary prevention program (VIVA) on behalf of the BAG, which was adapted particularly for young people with difficulties in the SeMo.