EurWORK European Observatory of Working Life

Active strategies for an ageing population

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Active Strategies for an Ageing Workforce
A brief summary of the conclusions from the Turku Conference which examined the development, implementation and assessment of 'active strategies' - the policies and practices in favour of the participation in employment and productivity of the ageing workforce.


Combating Age Barriers in Employment
A summary of a European research report that charts the initiatives being taken to reverse trends for early retirement and exit from the labour market towards retention, reintegration and retraining of older workers.


Full report also available

Managing an Ageing Workforce: A Guide to Good Practice
This booklet is intended to act as a guide for social partners, policy makers and managers, particularly those involved in job recruitment and training.


Combating Age Barriers in Employment – A Portfolio of Good Practice

A report providing illustration and analysis of more than 150 initiatives in favour of the retention, retraining and reintegration of older workers. It is intended as a practical tool for all those concerned with developing practice or supportive policies to combat age barriers in employment.

The EU population is ageing both in general and among the population of working age. Two aspects of this - care of the elderly and employment of older workers - have been the focus of research by the Foundation in recent years. The retention of older workers in employment is an important objective not only of labour market policies but also for social protection budgets. The Foundation has, through its research on ‘Combating Age Barriers in Employment’ been documenting and analysing good practice in age management, designed to improve job opportunities and working conditions for older workers. The study focused on the retention, reintegration and retraining of older workers and involved seven Member States: Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. In addition, information was collected from Finland and Sweden.

Key Conclusions

  • Bearing in mind the EU Employment Guidelines, Governments should develop active labour market policies to aid the integration of disadvantaged groups such as older workers by, for example, providing easy access to lifelong learning and through the improvement of labour market services;
  • Age-awareness training should be introduced for human resource personnel, managers and other key staff, thus supporting an environment which places a high value on older workers;
  • Measures such as flexible hours and career leave should be extended which recognise the caring responsibilities of some older staff;
  • Older workers themselves should be involved in discussions about age barriers and how to overcome them;
  • Trade unions should include in collective agreements recruitment and training measures which rectify the disadvantages experienced by older workers;
  • Greater sharing of knowledge and expertise on the relationship between age and employment and the implementation of good practice should be encouraged.