A road map presenting an overview into the future of ageing at work and how information and communication technology will shape this future was presented by the Goldenworkers project in its final conference, held in Barcelona on December 18th.
Antonio Davila, from IESE Business School and coordinator of the international project, highlighted during the conference that “in the recent decades labour force participation of people over 50 years has not been stimulated. The present shortage of young workers will start to reverse this tendency. Unemployment will remain high if coming generations does not qualify enough to supply these requested positions.” “Europe will have to change their vision on ageing and the labour capacity of seniors workers which will be need it for their knowledge or entrepreneur visualization", he remarked.
Developed within the frame of the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations 2012, the Goldenworkers EU-funded project has invited different specialized experts, representatives from the EU, social institutions, companies and researchers, to discuss and share the different findings about ageing workers. One of the objectives of the initiative was to structure and advance on a state-of-the-art research agenda for ICT and employment, fully embraced by research and practice communities.
The Goldenworkers Road Map and Action Plan takes into account that ageing at work depends on a myriad of variables such as the type of job, the skills of the person, health aspects, the policies in the organisation, or the employee’s attitude.
Firstly, the road map analyses technologies, looking at them from the perspective of work functions. Secondly, it pays particular attention to interaction between technology and social trends and how it will come to life in various work settings. Finally, and in contrast to prior road maps, Goldenworkers brings into the discussion the diversity of work environments that ageing workers will face.
The Goldenworkers’ road map and Action Plan combines technology advancements with the necessary social conditions for these technologies to be adopted. According to the report “without changes in society’s values, government regulation, organisational policies, or learning habits, new technologies will have a hard time to improve work environments. The underlying assumption of this roadmap is that the attractiveness of the work environment is the main argument to have work be an important part of active ageing”. “This objective is only met with the appropriate combination of technology and social change”, conclude the authors.
The road map and other Goldenworkers materials are available at this website.