Ageing of the working population in Europe, and particularly in Finland, is challenging the social and economic sustainability of society. Labour shortages and their consequences have recently been the subject of social debate and news coverage.
Older people are an important labour force group, but their skills and potential are not always recognised in working life. To address this situation, the Finnish government has drawn up a programme of measures to support the employment of people over 55. The objectives include accelerating re-employment in the event of redundancy and supporting employers to hire unemployed people aged 55 and over.
The Silver Strategies project, funded by the Central Baltic programme, aims to achieve the same goals as the Finnish government's programme. Its objective is to collaborate with companies to create comprehensive age management strategies that can help extend the careers of individuals over the age of 55 and increase employment opportunities. The project is centred around ensuring equal inclusion and non-discrimination in the workplace. Satakunta University of Applied Sciences and the Latvian and Estonian Chambers of Commerce are engaging private sector employers in all three countries to develop equal age management strategies for employing people over 55 and extending careers even beyond retirement age. Companies of different sizes and from different sectors will be recruited.
Longer careers and improved employment
The Silver Strategies project is structured in three phases. In the first phase, country-specific practices were identified based on previous literature and publications. In addition, in each partner country, managers of three companies were interviewed about age management practices and the indicators in use. The survey found that companies have unestablished practices for assessing the working capacity of older workers and methods for keeping them in employment. In all countries, there have been or are ongoing national projects and good practices on the management of workers over 55, but these have not been scientifically studied.
Next, a 2-day workshop and joint training event will be organised in Tartu and Pori. At the events, company representatives will share and develop their age awareness expertise and good practices for age management together. The program includes visits to companies that have been exemplary in their age management. In the final phase, the companies will produce "Best practices", which will be compiled into an online handbook.
The best practices and indicators for age management of people over 55 developed in the project will benefit companies that implement them into their management strategy. The results of the project will be presented in seminars in partner countries and articles will be published. The handbook will be made openly available on the project website, reaching a wide target audience. Most importantly, older workers can benefit from the age management strategies developed in terms of longer careers and improved employment.
Did you know?
- The Silver Strategies project will run from 1.3.2023 to 31.8.2025.
- The Silver Strategies project is the first initiative in the Baltic region to develop company-specific measures promoting equal opportunities for participation in working life for those over 55.
- The project involves companies in three countries in jointly developing common age management strategies.
- According to studies, age management is not explicitly reflected in organisational strategies - should it be reflected?