Cedefop - European Centre for the Development of Vocational TrainingThessaloniki, 10 December 2012. The workshop will be targeted at 40 European and national policy-makers, stakeholders, researchers and experts, who show a professional interest in guidance in age management strategies and issues linked to the integration of immigrants. The objectives of the work-shop event are as follows:
- to discuss the preliminary results of the first interim phase of the European study currently being developed by  Cedefop on employers’ age management strategies;
- to address the key questions and challenges arising from these results;
- to suggest adjustments/improvements for the next phases of the study.
Download the Background Note.
The study includes four phases:

- An introductory phase, adjusting methodology, data collection formats and discussing the literature review, as well as defining criteria for country clustering into coherent groups;
- A first interim phase, which comprises a literature review regarding the 12 selected countries and interviews with national experts from all the 27 countries. The implementation of the first 5 case studies (from a total of 20) and corresponding draft descriptions.
- A second interim phase of the study, which comprises the implementation of the remaining 15 case studies and of 40 mini-cases (mini-cases are to be based on information supplied by national experts). This stage will also comprise interviews to EU level stakeholders.
- The fourth stage will be the final analysis of information identifying good practices on/innovative approaches to designing, developing, implementing and monitoring age management strategies in public and private sector organizations and delivering key messages for EU and national policy-makers, employers and guidance experts.
The introductory and first interim phases of the study are completed, and the preliminary results from the first five case-studies as well as the analysis of the national frameworks are now available.
Countries were clustered, during the introductory phase of the study, into four groups according to the following criteria: labour market regulations, economic situation, employment levels of older workers, levels of VET availability and enrolment among older workers.
Three representative countries were selected from each cluster, accounting for geographic and demographic variety as well as a diversity of situations in EU antiquity, providing a total of 20 case-studies in 12 countries. The representative countries also serve as a basis for a more in depth analysis of policy and legislative context. This later information will benefit from the input of interviews to national experts, partly implemented during the first interim phase and to be completed during the second interim phase.
Case studies consist of guidance practices targeted at older workers within organizations. They attempt to retain variety concerning firm size and sector of activity. Each case study is linked with two similar practices implemented in other countries. The mini-case studies will reflect similarities or relevant aspects of the in-depth case studies, being developed in parallel situations in two other countries. The mini-cases will account for interesting elements regarding crosscountry and/or cross-sector transferability of practices.
The first five case-studies and the national reviews have identified, up to this point, some fundamental challenges to achieving critical results for firms and workers:
- There is fragmentation and lack of coordination between guidance services for older workers;
- Firm-based strategies frequently have a low degree of definition in what concerns the content, nature and methods of guidance methods used;
- The concern for the inclusion in the activities of professionals with appropriate guidance skills or for the organisation of adjusted training in guidance methods to management level seems to be irregular;
- There is a lack of established methods to follow-up and evaluate the benefits of guidance for older workers;
- There is a frequent inaccuracy and lack of clear strategy in inserting guidance in the age management strategies at both national and firm level;
- The labour participation of older workers managed at small scale through regional/local programmes;
- There is a certain difficulty in identifying examples of good practice addressed specifically to older workers – strategies are frequently mixed (in age targets) and have only specificities aimed at older workers;
- Frequently there is not a consensual definition of active age management agreed at national level, which results in low common vision between policy fields, coordinating bodies, etc;
- Not all countries have developed a National strategy on ageing, which does not favour the development of structured approaches and supports.
The present workshop has as purpose to discuss the relevance and quality of the results, addressing these fundamental challenges and to suggest adjustments/improvements for the next phases of the study. Download the Background Note.