Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Europe: Report Calls on EU and Member States To Maximise the Potential of Older Workers

The International Longevity Centre–UK (ILC-UK) has issued a report exploring how the European Union and its 28 members have responded to the working longer agenda. The report--"Working Longer: An EU perspective"--argues that older people have not been exempt from the impact of the recession, and that governments should put extra resource into tackling ageism and creating the right sort of jobs for an older workforce.

Among other things, the report highlights that:
  • Europe faces significant skills gaps due to demographic change.
  • EU Membership has gone alongside growth in participation of older workers.
  • Across Europe, incentives to retire early have gradually been removed, whilst state pension ages have begun to increase.
  • Government initiatives to support older workers are often poorly evaluated for effectiveness.
  • Governments have not met an EU target set in 2001 to achieve 50% employment rate of older workers by 2010.
The report explores seven challenges for the EU and Member States:
  1. Achieving gender equality.
  2. Skilling up the older workforce.
  3. Supporting older people in the recession.
  4. Matching demand and supply in the labour market.
  5. Tackling ageism.
  6. Improving health. One of the biggest challenges facing the working longer agenda is poor health of older workers.
  7. Recognising the diversity of the working experience.
The report argues that European decision-makers and member states should take a life course approach, make better use fiscal incentives, create more, better and more appropriate jobs, address inequalities, and deliver a targeted research agenda. Source: International Longevity Centre Press Release (September 4, 2013)