Invest in Talent offers a combined offer of: internships, work, education, affordable housing, coaching for vulnerable young people to reduce dropout rates and support sustainable career perspectives.


People aged 16-32 who:

  • are at risk of dropping out (from school or work)
  • have already dropped out (from school or work)
  • are at risk of social exclusion and/or are facing multiple issues 
  • do not have qualifications and/or are far from the labour market.


Type of policy/initiative



Level of implementation / Scope

  • Institutional level
  • Local level
  • Regional level
  • National level

Stage of implementation

Since 2009

Aims of policy/initiative

  • Preventing early school leaving
  • Reducing youth unemployment
  • Reducing social and economic exclusion
  • Reducing benefit payments /costs

Features and types of activities implemented

Invest in Talent is a sustainable local public-private partnership, and it involves a number of local partners (i.e. employers, educational institutions, youth support associations, housing associations, and local municipalities). The activities include:

  • selection of potential participants through a special Warming Up program
  • training on social and employee skills
  • realisation of skills intensive learning workplaces at and with companies
  • transfer education to the learning workplaces
  • permanent coaching of participants; from finding through to placement at work

a different way of working, continuity above incidental gain.


The Invest in Talent concept was developed by a social entrepreneur, Frank Köster. The local projects (e.g. Talent for Amsterdam, Talent for Rotterdam) are financed by local partners (in the private and non-profit sectors). The programme receives no public funding, either from the state or from ERASMUS + or ESF. The organisations taking part in the programme have a social and economic interest in doing so. By investing in young people, they are reaping benefits for themselves and society.

Evaluation of the measure

Two independent evaluations were conducted of the projects in Rotterdam and Utrecht. The results of the evaluations are available here:

Evidence of effectiveness of the measure

The evaluation of Talent for Rotterdam found that “On average, youngsters participate in this project for 16-18 months. Around ninety per cent finishes this programme and receive a basic qualification. In addition, around seventy per cent of the participants who obtain a basic qualification continue to higher [educational] levels”.

The evaluation of Talent for Zorg/ Techniek – Utrecht found that “Talent for Care leads to different social effects on different fields such as the labour market, the economy and public health. To expectation the social benefits outweigh the costs for the project are made”.

Success factors

Reducing dropout rates and increasing the inflow of young people into education and work through:

  • A New way of sustainable collaboration
  • return on investments by public and private partners
  • Innovative integrated approach; no silos 
  • Covering basic necessities: combination of work, edcation, housing, coaching.

Contact details for further information

Contact name
Frank Köster
Contact telephone
+31(0)6 22 9750 44
Contact email
info [at]

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