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Social partners: out with early exit, in with learning and career development?
Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Working Life Science.
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2011 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract

The purpose of the paper is to present findings from a new Nordic survey on social partners policy and practice in regards older workers. The goal of the survey was to find out to what extent the social partners have developed policies and outlined strategies, which explicitly address the demographic change and promote opportunities for lifelong learning and career development among their senior members (45+). Workforce in the Nordic countries tend to be highly organised especially the older workers. The social partners involvement in the discussion of sustainable society and the contribution of lifelong learning to the needs and potential of older workers is crucial, as the demographic situation already today, and in particular the one to be expected within the next about 40 years, is historically without a precedent. The idea of continuous learning and the need for a meaningful work has been included in the agreements between the working life parties in all the Nordic countries. However, not all people are provided with or take an advantage of the possibilities to continue learning relevant to their career development. Studies show that trade unions are in an especially difficult position regarding this matter, but also that they should develop clearer strategy in response to demographic change, and communicate it to their members. The OWNsurvey was carried out as a part of the work in the network Older workers in the Nordic countries (OWN) supported by the Nordic Council. The findings showed, on one hand, that while some social partners have started very good work, for many the issues of lifelong learning and opportunities for career development for older workers are not on their agenda. Besides differences between the unions in regards many aspects and within most countries, the findings also revealed systematic differences between the Nordic countries. Targeted policy measures regarding the older workers showed to be in place in Denmark and Norway, while this seems to be least the case in Sweden. Finland and Iceland have been prioritizing general policies. Targeted measures provide strongest, and in many cases much needed support to older workers competence and career development. However, even a strong lifelong learning policy seems not alone to guarantee real opportunities for and participation in learning during the latter half of the lifetime job careers, especially if the implementation of these policies is not followed up. On another note, also general policies can provide the necessary support, provided that other policy domains and practice are aligned with them. Overall, there is a need for a more active approach from social partners, in policy and practice, to promote lifelong learning and career development to their senior members during their last 15-20 years in working life. In this issue the social partners can and should play an active role indeed, a leading role if needed among the other key actors in society.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Helsinki, Finland: The Nordic Network for Adult Learning (NVL) , 2011. , p. 28
National Category
Work Sciences
Research subject
Working Life Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-10897ISBN: 978-952-5349-18-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-10897DiVA, id: diva2:494456
Available from: 2012-02-08 Created: 2012-02-08 Last updated: 2013-06-12Bibliographically approved

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http://www.nordvux.net/download/6690/social_partners.pdfhttp://www.nordvux.net/download/6690/social_partners.pdf

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