Cedefop, the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training, is organising a two-day international workshop on guidance and counselling for ageing workers in Thessaloniki on 30 September and 1 October 2010.
The workshop brings together an international forum of researchers and experts to gather the latest insights and best practices on guidance and counselling for ageing workers; it embraces educational, occupational, psychological, sociological, human-resources and socio-economic research perspectives.
Europe is ageing rapidly. Many Member States are extending retirement age in order to make sure that their pension systems can last. Indeed, popular discussions about demographic changes tend to focus on the financial repercussions of an ageing population. But there is more to this issue than budgetary constraints. Academic research is also exploring how ageing affects the ability to find work and learn on the job.
The key issue is how to make sure that longer working lives can be successful. This has sparked a debate on how to provide ageing workers with enough possibilities to update and renew their skills throughout their working lives.
Research on ageing workers has grown significantly since the early 1990s. In 2008, Cedefop held an international workshop on learning and ageing. Researchers from all over the world presented and discussed their latest findings on the needs of ageing workers and on factors that promote or inhibit longer working lives.
The two main conclusions from this workshop were that successful active ageing requires commitment and involvement from both the workers themselves and employers. The working environment of ageing workers should support learning and recognise their particular needs. Moreover, older workers cannot successfully keep working if the labour market does not acquire a sound understanding of how the processes of ageing, working and learning relate to each other (Cedefop (2010). Working and ageing: Emerging theories and empirical perspectives. September 2010, forthcoming).
EU Member States have started providing guidance services that address the particular counselling and learning needs of groups such as the long-term unemployed, workers over 45, and workers in industries or companies undergoing restructuring. But we need more research on the impact and role of guidance and counselling for older workers across and beyond Europe. To design appropriate guidance and counselling services that fully cater for the needs of ageing workers, we need better theoretical and conceptual foundations and empirical evidence.
You can register for the workshop by filling in the form.
Please note that the number of participants is limited.