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International experts analyse in Oslo the Centre for Senior Policy as a good practice in extending working life

International experts analyse in Oslo the Centre for Senior Policy as a good practice in extending working life © Signe Christine Urdal | CSP

Norway’s Ministry of Labour hosted on May 24-25 the Peer Review “Extending working life: Tripartite co-operation and the role of the Centre for Senior Policy".

The event held in Oslo brought together ministry officials, social partners and independent experts from 13 countries and from the DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion at the European Commission.

In the framework of the Mutual Learning Programme, the Peer Reviews cover single initiatives relating to selected employment policy practices in line with the priority themes of the European Employment Strategy. Each Peer Review is hosted by a Member State, which presents the selected good practice.

In this occasion, the host country, Norway, presented its Centre for Senior Policy (CSP), an organisation which aims to raise awareness of the importance of addressing demographic change and the critical contribution of older workers in the labour market.

In order to do this, it carries out research, gathers and disseminates good practice, and works directly with employers and employees themselves to develop active ageing strategies in the workplace. CSP builds on a joint recognition of the importance of active ageing by the social partners and government agencies and is run on a tripartite basis.

 Labour market participation among older workers (and more generally) in Norway is among the highest in Europe at 69% (EU average was 46% in 2010) and the average age of retirement has, over recent years, increased to 63.5.

The main conclusions of the discussions are:

  • Awareness raising and building trust is the key to engaging social partners with the issue of demographic change.
  • Many European countries actually still lack of a strong and well-functioning tradition of tripartite cooperation.  In such context, a possible alternative would be to generate buy-in from social partners through other structures than a strong centralised tripartite dialogue.
  • Remaining policy obstacles to extending working lives must be addressed.
  • Prevention is better than cure, and a lifecycle approach is critical to the success of prevention measures.
  • Greater attention needs to be paid to mid-term career reviews and support for job to job mobility.

In-depth information about the Peer Review in Norway can be found here.