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Older Workers in an Ageing Society

Older Workers in an Ageing Society

Critical Topics in Research and Policy

Globalization and Welfare series

Edited by Philip Taylor

Prolonging working lives is high on the agenda of policy makers in most of the world’s major industrialized nations. This book explains how they are keen to tackle issues associated with the ageing of populations, namely the funding of pension systems and predictions concerning a dwindling labour supply. Yet the recent history of older workers has primarily been one of premature exit from the labour force in the form of redundancy or early retirement. Add to this a previously plentiful supply of younger labour and it is clear that much of industry will be unprepared for the challenges of ageing workforces.

Chapter 12: Rethinking recruitment processes in an ageing society

Victoria Büsch

Subjects: social policy and sociology, ageing, comparative social policy, labour policy


The European population is facing a demographic change, characterized by an ageing and shrinking society. This change is not due to a greater life expectancy, but instead primarily due to a lower fertility rate. Current statistics show that at least one quarter of all women in Germany are childless. As a consequence of changing mortality and fertility the share of people above the age of 60 years is increasing, whereas the share of people between the ages of 20 and 60 is declining. Such a profound structural change in population has effects in all areas of life. Striking examples of this process concern social security and education systems, as well as the labour market. The following remarks focus on the labour market, specifically the recruitment process. The European labour market is characterized by a continuous increase in older workers. Between the years 2005 and 2010 the share of employees between 55 and 64 years was predicted to increase by 9.6 per cent, representing more than 5 million employees.

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