Future work challenges for people over 55 - solutions from the Sustainable Working Life project
The EntreFox project is involved in the Sustainable Working Life project coordinated by the Baltic Sea Labor Forum (BSLF). The Sustainable Working Life project aims to promote the sustainable development of working life and continuous learning for the ageing population. The project strives to identify and analyze good practices related to lifelong learning and active ageing. As a result, new co-operation initiatives and action recommendations will be developed. The project will be implemented by two thematic working groups to find as many useful good practices as possible. The themes of the working groups are:
- Age Management and Working Conditions
- Job opportunities for an ageing workforce, including Entrepreneurship
I lead the working group Job opportunities for an ageing workforce, including Entrepreneurship as a representative of the EntreFox project. The chosen members of the thematic working group were to include the widest possible range of experts from the Baltic Sea region, and members were invited through both national and Baltic Sea Labor Forum networks. Currently, the working group has 14 members from Estonia, Latvia, Finland, Russia, and Belarus. In addition to many nationalities, members represent several occupations and types of organizations. Representatives of both employers ‘and employees’ organizations, researchers and other experts are involved.
The first face-to-face meeting of the working groups took place in Stockholm on 14-15 November 2019. During the meeting, we had a chance to get to know each other and the project’s background and start the actual work. We have defined focus, objectives, and criteria for our thematic working group. Our group intends to focus on developing and validating the skills and abilities of people over 55 years of age. The discussion revealed that in several countries the problems are similar: people over the age of 55 have long work experience and solid skills, but not necessarily formal education or proof of their skills. In some situations, skills may already be outdated – such as IT or social media – and this makes it more difficult to enter the labour market. Changes in working life and new demands in future work particularly affect the older part of the labour market. Therefore, we are working to find good practices that can be used to develop the working life capabilities of + 55-year-olds and to draw up recommendations for action, through which these identified good practices can be implemented in different countries.
The next meeting of the thematic working group will be in Turku in April 2020. Before that, the members of our working group will start collecting good practices from their own countries. It will be especially interesting to get acquainted with this material. For example, what could we learn from Russia? And could the good practices identified in EntreFox on digital pilots, be used in other countries?
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