Danish govt seeks industry partnership to keep older people working

The Danish government has announced plans to form an industry partnership with the aim of encouraging experienced and older employees to remain in the workforce.

It noted that Denmark was experiencing a labour shortage due to increasing life expectancy and declining birth rate, and therefore there was a need for Danes to stay in the labour market longer.

While employment among Danish seniors has generally been increasing over the past 30 years, employment levels of older workers is below that of Norway and Sweden.

A study by recruitment agency Ballisager found that seniors were not being hired due to their age, with around one in five employers excluding candidates on the basis of age alone.

The government therefore wants to set up a partnership with social partners and key actors in the field to support seniors’ position in the labour market.

This would include actively contributing to ensuring a good framework for retaining senior staff and bringing unemployed seniors back to work more quickly.

The partnership will work based on an objective to increase employment amongst older people by promoting a cultural change in the workplace in relation to hiring and retaining seniors, among other things.

Furthermore, the partnership will aim to play an important role when it comes to making older people’s resources, skills and value creation visible on the labour market.

“Denmark lacks hands, both in the private and public sectors,” Danish Employment Minister, Peter Hummelgaard, commented. “This is especially true now that the Danish economy is booming, but the challenge will not be any less in the future.

“Therefore, it is absolutely crucial that we put all resources into play and continue the important work of creating a good framework for as many people as possible to be part of the labour market for as long as possible. It benefits us all – the individual, the companies and the social economy.

“In order to have enough hands in the future, it is necessary that our labour market supports the participation of seniors in the labour market. Seniors are a valuable resource who possess valuable knowledge and experience that can benefit the labour market.

“Therefore, we must create as good a framework as possible for the seniors. And here I believe that a transversal partnership for seniors and experienced hands in jobs is an important part of the solution.

“The government has already done a lot to end age discrimination and make it more attractive for seniors to stay longer in the labour market. But the government cannot solve the problem alone.

“Many of the challenges that continue to increase employment among seniors are about cultural changes and changes in the individual workplace. There is therefore a need to involve the social partners in order to find effective measures that can increase employment among seniors.”

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