The European workforce is getting older. By 2060 there will be only two people of working age (15-64 years) in the European Union for every person aged over 65 years, compared to four to one today. Many EU countries, in response are increasing retirement ages.

Employers recognise the problem of ageing, but seem unprepared for the consequences For European businesses to be competitive older workers will have to cope with advances in technology, carry out new tasks and adjust to changes in work organisation. Older workers will need to stay fit and keep their skills up-to-date. But older workers tend to receive less training. Their participation in learning is consistently below European targets.

Neither employers, nor older workers always see the benefits of investing in their skills. New approaches are needed to tap an ageing workforce’s potential, not only to learn, but also to pass on their experience and knowledge to younger generations.

How older workers’ skills are developed and used will shape future economies and societies. Successful policies for older workers involve more than increasing the retirement age.