European member states struggle to finance their social security system. Therefore, pensionable age must be raised. People have to work longer. But to meet this challenge, we have to change our perception of career development and the view of learning and training.
How can we keep 50+ workers in the labor market? To solve the problem, we should not focus just on 50+employees.We have to cope on the problem from the moment an employee gets their first job or even earlier.
To solve the problem of 50+ employability we must develop a completely new HR approach. First of all, we must emphasize trump cards of 50+ workers in the broadest possible sense. Apart from that, we must take a globalized view on the career path and learning process of an employee. Lifelong learning or continuous vocational training (CVT) and more specifically non-formal and informal learning play a key role in our conclusions about this issue. The main question in all the meetings of project teams was: How can we promote CVT?
Whatever we do, we have to bear in mind that 99% of European business are SMEs and that they require a specific approach. Europe has already taken numerous initiatives in promoting employability of older workers in the member states. Nowadays , however, because of the specificity of SMEs, a lot of these initiatives are counter-productive: instead of integrating 50+ workers in the labor market, SMEs are afraid of employing them because of the legislation and its consequences such as extra costs and red tape when SMEs employ 50+ workers . Last but not least, SMEs do not have the HR management expertise and financial means to tackle the problem in a professional and appropriate way Therefore, we should rephrase our main question: How can we promote CVT to SMEs?
We quickly came to the conclusion that in order to meet the challenge of promoting CVT we must focus on informal and non-formal learning. Young people in vocational education usually do not have a careless school career . Some people leave school at 18 or even younger and start their professional career. If we want employees to stay in work longer we have to make sure that learning does not stop at the age of 18. From there, informal and non-formal learning must take the role of formal education. For that reason informal and non-formal learning must be taken seriously by all decision makers and must be professionalized.
The project partners discussed various drivers and barriers: employability of 50+ workers, CVT in SMEs, validation of non-formal and informal learning outcomes and the added value of personal development plans and training needs assessment. Exchanging these experiences, the project partners did not only inspire each other with good practices and concrete ideas such as mentorship and skill pooling, but finally they can make some valuable recommendations to the European Commission on lifelong learning and employment of older people in SMEs.
Did you really want to say “Today” and therefore indicate that the initiatives were ok in the past but are now counterproductive? What are the extra costs and red tape linked with employing older people? I don’t think you can argue there are any without an example. That also has no connection with the argument to rephrase the main question. Maybe you meant that cost of training older workers seems higher because the return period is perceived as shorter.
I think this is too much of a generalization and reinforces stigmatization of vocational education. Anyway, the comment seems unnecessary here.
What did you mean by that? This is not the right word here as professionalize means to give a professional character or status to; make into or establish as a profession. It cannot be done with informal or non-formal learning.