As Europe’s population is ageing, many European States have raised pension age and designed incentives for people to stay longer in employment. This results in a steady increase of participation among older workers and a change in attitude towards retirement.
Older individuals face career development challenges such as growing health limitations, skills obsolescence, and changing personal priorities. At the same time, they have enormous value for organisations and the economy, due to their accumulated experience, skills and knowledge.
While age management strategies are increasing in organisations and firms across Europe, they are not necessarily supported by consistent policies and systems; and most still fail to exploit fully the potential of guidance.
Guidance activities help older workers to reflect about their professional experiences and assess their skills, needs and expectations. They support informed decisions on further training, retraining and development of key skills.
Guidance can also help reflect about part-time work, redeployment in new functions or development of entirely new activities. It can assist older workers in planning their mature career stages and exit strategies in a structured, informed way, increasing their motivation and productive contribution.
Firms can use guidance to harness the potential of their human resources, not only via the assessment of skills and knowledge, but also by enabling better allocation of resources and transmission of knowledge between generations of workers. It is a useful complement to validation procedures and the planning of training.
When implemented in a lifelong perspective, guidance allows for even more effective age management strategies, with smooth integration in internal processes and covering all of an enterprise’s staff.
Cedefop’s report aims to inspire actions and help Member States develop institutional frameworks and incentives to help enterprises devise age management and guidance strategies.