The profound changes experienced by rural areas in Europe over the past couple of decades have resulted in obvious disadvantages: loss of employment due to changes in the agricultural sector, migration of young people towards urban centres, leading to a demographic imbalance, and insufficient population and infrastructural density to support economic development and entrepreneurial activity. However, one resource that rural areas may be able to draw upon is their ‘social capital’: the interaction of individuals participating and communicating in formal or informal networks in which higher levels of trust develop. It has been recognised that social capital can play a role in stimulating and fostering entrepreneurial activity, and hence facilitate job creation.
The report, on which this summary is based, aims to: gain a better understanding of the perspectives of governments, social partners and the wider public with regard to improving the employment situation of older workers and extending working life; document the development of the measures and policies of social partners and governments – for instance, relating to the labour market, social protection, taxation, training and work environment; identify and present examples of organisation-level initiatives designed to foster active ageing e.g. in recruitment, training, health and job design; draw conclusions and provide guidance for future strategies in the field of age management.