Spirited debate on an issue that is of critical importance to Europe’s labour market was the hallmark of Cedefop’s workshop on guidance for ageing workers (September 30-October 1). The workshop aimed to identify the best ways to offer career guidance to ageing workers, who constitute an increasingly important share of the workforce.

The discussion on research presented at the workshop revealed that:

  • Careful study of existing data is needed to establish whether, and to what extent, training indeed helps people have longer careers.
  • There is a need for more comparative EU studies to provide a better basis for EU action;
  • Skills recognition for older workers requires validation systems to be put in place
  • Multidisciplinary research on the guidance needs of older workers should be taken into account in policy-making
  • Employers - who are still reluctant to employ older workers even though they recognise the implications of demographic pressures - need to get involved in providing guidance options for ageing workers within their companies
  • The particular needs of ageing workers will lead to increasing demand for guidance and counselling. This has implications for guidance counsellors’ own initial education and continuing professional development.

Next year, Cedefop will publish a compilation of papers presented at this event.   Also in 2011, the Centre will launch a Europe-wide study on guidance for active age management.