In several sectors of the labour market a shortage of skilled workers is expected or already stated. In 2004, the OECD highlighted the need of a specialised information and counselling offer to increase the participation of people 50+.
Based on several case studies, Cedefop (2015) -an Erasmus+ project- identified current challenges. Two of them, the project InCounselling50+ wants to address:
- Career development services for employed workers 50+ are scarce and weakly supported by guidance tools and
- Guidance for active age management is still poorly represented in human resources strategies.
Additionally these case studies verified, that such interventions have positive effects
- on an individual level (e.g. staying longer in employment),
- on organizational level (e.g. keeping experienced, skilled and productive workforce) and
- on national level (e.g. reducing social security costs).
Due to its heterogeneous nature the target group of persons aged 50+ has varied needs and faces the potential risk to be excluded from the labour market. Thereby the requirements of the companies as well as the possibilities to adapt organizational frameworks with regard to the special needs of the end-users have to be taken into account.
Partnerships and cooperation between Higher Education Institutions and employment services ensure a high quality level in counselling and promote active ageing. An increasing number of universities offer special services for older people, like 3rd Age Universities to support lifelong learning. Companies need concepts to maintain the knowledge and skills of their employees 50+. In this way, both sides can profit from each other.
Especially the combination of the competences and standards, elaborated in previous European Projects in career guidance, and internationally used HR approaches and tools enable the transfer of previous outcomes of EU-funded projects into a new innovative context. Based on the findings, the project's perspective in the different countries under consideration of their particular framework (e.g. labour market, demographic situation, legal norms) is to develop a customisable concept, adapted to the conditions and regional needs.