In the face of rapid population ageing, there is a need to promote better employment opportunities for older people. Much has been said about the importance of reforms of old-age pensions and early retirement schemes but this will not be enough to ensure that older people can carry on working. A broader reform agenda is indeed involved, including the welfare system, hiring and firing procedures in firms, employment services for older jobseekers, working conditions, and wage and training practices.
To set this agenda, the OECD Employment, Labour and Social Affairs Committee decided in 2001 to carry out a thematic review of policies to improve labour market prospects for older workers. Separate country reports have been prepared for each of the twenty-one countries that have participated in this thematic review. Each country report analyses the main existing barriers to the employment of older people, assesses the coherence and effectiveness of policies in removing these barriers and presents a set of recommendations on measures that government and social partners should implement.
The purpose of this Forum is to present and discuss the Synthesis Report which summarises the main lessons and issues that have emerged from the thematic review. On the first day, 17 October, representatives of public authorities, social partners, academics and civil society will participate by invitation. The second day , 18 October, will take the form of a meeting of the Employment, Labour and Social Affairs Committee at ministerial level.