In the context of increasing employment rates to meet EU2020 targets, the 2012 Year on Active Ageing and the Healthy and Active Ageing Pilot Partnership, the Council of Ministers issued Council Conclusion on the effects of demographic changes on the workforce and employment policies. They highlight several of the implications that an ageing population will have.
Higher participation of older workers in employment is an important factor that contributes to smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, and to achieving the Europe 2020 headline target of aiming to raise the employment rate for women and men to 75%. However, it requires a multidimensional and integrated approach. Thus it is important to tackle age discrimination regarding employment and occupation, given that ageism is an important exclusion factor for older workers on labour markets. At the same time, investments should be made in life-long learning initiatives, adapted to labour market needs. This will allow for older persons to stay productive, increase their mobility, and develop skills. The Council invites Member States to fight stereotyping of older people and older workers by developing effective communication schemes and raising awareness about the issue.
The Conclusions also highlight the role of job quality to address the physical and mental impact of work, taking into account the need to reconcile work, family and private life, and the anticipation of changes that occur with age. The ageing workforce and rising retirement age highlight the need for adequate occupational health and safety measures for all workers, as well as the importance of promoting healthy lifestyles,
There will also be impacts on the financing of pensions and healthcare, as well as on the labour market - the ageing of the population represents an opportunity for job creation in care and personal services sectors. Governments will have to anticipate an increase in demand for these services, which represents a challenge in terms of training to develop the required skills and qualifications. Working conditions in this sector such as the work environment, wages, working hours, job stability and career development are crucial factors contributing to the ability of the care and personal services sectors to attract and retain workers. Lastly, affordable access to care (e.g., healthcare for the elderly and for children) and personal services is an important factor contributing to the higher participation of older workers,
Member States and stakeholders are invited to participate actively in the 2012 Year to Promote Active Ageing and solidarity between generations, including ensuring the appropriate preparation for its activities in 2011,
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