Partnership strategies for demographic change and ageing

16. Okt 2012

OECD LEED project on local scenarios of demographic change

Study Visit for Local Development Practitioners: Demographic change and the resulting ageing of our societies continue to increasingly endanger regional growth and development perspectives. In addition to growing pressure on funds for pension, health and social service systems, the element of ageing has escalating negative effects on the most significant aspect of knowledge-based growth: the human resources needed to drive it. In spite of high unemployment rates in many countries, more and more regions have already started to suffer from negative demographic development, with sometimes dramatic forecasts for the years to come (e.g. in Central Europe). This will limit companies’ ability to fully exploit business opportunities and to attract new investments.
Aside from (unpopular) legal adjustments such as raising the retirement age or increasing incentives for migration, a solution will depend on the establishment of comprehensive, age-sensitive, work arrangement packages; long-term, skill up-grading strategies; and the will of companies, social partners and regional authorities to enact a common strategy.

Recognising this situation, regions have started designing specific programmes based on the strength of the partnership model. This involves supporting enterprises in their need to find skilled personnel and helping individuals to up-grade their skills through forward-thinking strategies which  successfully fill job vacancies, invest in health protection and do so through collaboration between authorities, social partners, social insurance institutions, training institutions, and of course, enterprises.

Study focus: Carinthia, Austria

The OECD LEED Forum on Partnerships and Local Governance, within the framework of the OECD LEED project on Local Scenarios of Demographic Change, conducted a study visit to the Province of Carinthia, Austria from 10-12 October. Although the overall situation of elderly people in the labour market is better than in most OECD countries, there are some underlying trends which have been causing heavy discussions in Austria.
Population forecasts indicate that the share of older people will increase dramatically, with Carinthia being more affected than the rest of the country. Early retirement remains at a high level, putting pressure on the state pension system. Demographic change is creating an aging workforce, forcing companies to change their recruitment, employment and training policies.

Issues covered during the study visit included:

  • The structure and political targets of the Territorial Employment Pact;
  • The working committee on ‘work & age’;
  • Labour market policy for older workers in Austria and, more specifically, in Carinthia;
  • Employment and qualification projects, including socio-economic enterprises;
  • Qualification for employed;
  • Health care initiatives securing employment.
  • Demographic situation of Carinthia along with programs and initiatives by local institutions

The programmewas be organised by ZSI around project visits and meetings with representatives from the province, local council, the AMS, social partners, project promoters and participants.

Tags: corporate social responsibilty, social change, social cohesion, social innovation

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