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Better Job Opportunities for Older People

Press Release October 8, 2012

Whether it is America, Europe or China, the social trend is clear: People are living longer and having fewer and fewer children. This demographic change presents several pressing problems: Low economic growth, financial problems for social welfare systems, and a shortage of skilled workers are all examples but there are also distribution conflicts between the young and old. In recent years, there have been various political efforts to try and get a grip on the problem: Better promotion of work and family compatibility, immigration of qualified workers and an increase of the retirement age are just some of these.

However, the increased retirement age promises to be a long-term solution. This poses new problems: For a start, there must be enough jobs for older workers, and workers must be given fitting incentives to work longer. "Lifelong learning must be more actively promoted", says Kiel Institute for the World Economy expert Klaus-Jürgen Gern. Only this way can older workers keep up with relevant developments in their profession. "Employers must also accommodate older workers with flexible working hours", says Gern.

How can businesses be convinced that employing older workers is in their interest? What incentives could businesses put in place to attract more older people? How will careers change with an increase of the retirement age? Do we need more lifelong learning opportunities and should they be provided by businesses or by the public? These and further questions will be discussed at the Global Economic Symposium in Rio de Janeiro in mid-October.


“The Global Economic Symposium (GES) 2012 is being jointly organized by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW) and the Bertelsmann Stiftung, in cooperation with the German National Library of Economics – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (ZBW) and in collaboration with the Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV).

Further information can be found at www.global-economic-symposium.org and at the official GES-blog at blog.global-economic-symposium.org.

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Dr. Klaus-Jürgen Gern

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