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Symposium 2013

Proposal - Human Capital planning and management – Focusing on development and use of human capital across all generations

The Challenge

In 2020 the majority of baby boomers (age group born between 1956 and 1965) retires. Together with the retirees, 50 years of working experience will disappear. Furthermore, work related values like jo ...

In 2020 the majority of baby boomers (age group born between 1956 and 1965) retires. Together with the retirees, 50 years of working experience will disappear. Furthermore, work related values like job guarantee, high income and power will disappear as well. Whereas the age group born between 1965 and 1981, known as Generation X, started to question these classic values and to bring up the term “Work-Life-Balance”,

With the demographic change the size of workforce will shrink in many of the European countries. With lower number of potential workers it is important that first, the existing potential is used efficiently, enabling people to work more and longer. People today are healthier and fitter – their longer lives in general can be also translated into longer working lives, during which they can share their knowledge and experience with younger workers.

We need to work both on the quantity and quality of human capital.

Longer working lives and higher retirement ages are important. Retirement ages should increase with life expectancy, so that the share between life spent working and on retirement remains stable. But also employers should see this as an opportunity to maintain human capital within companies, using more and more scarce resources.

Another important goal is healthy lifestyles, that should again be seen not only as individual and private activity, but as one that also affect individual’s productivity. Again, involvement of employers to engage their workforce in physical activity is one of the future directions of human resource management.

Skills and competencies that we acquire during formal education become outdated very quickly. We need to learn – lifelong and lifewide. LLL needs to be an important component of individual life courses. We need to develop the skill of learning, including planning of individual development in younger generation, but also find ways to encourage those older to learn and develop as well as update their skills. Again, this is both responsibility of individuals, but also of their employers.

In a pursue of human capital development we need to join forces of individuals, employers and the state. Only if all of the stakeholders work together, we will face the challenge of the ageing populations.

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