Project funded under the
Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities


The ageing of society and the workforce is one of the dominant developments in modern European societies. This development faces society with the challenge how to use the senior potential, both inside and outside the labour market. According to European governments and scientific experts labour markets are in need of higher participation rates, both of women and of older workers. The civil society may also need these ‘younger’ elderly as more women are participating in the labour market, have less time for care and volunteer work, while the share in the population of ‘older’ elderly who need care is increasing. From another perspective the growing share of older people puts up the challenge to safeguard the social inclusion of all of these people, even though they may be low educated and worn out after a life of hard work.

This project aims for an ambitious, exhaustive examination of the forces and mechanisms behind employers’, civil society organisations’ and governments’ behaviour and the resulting societal arrangements. To that aim it will use large-scale surveys for the analyses of employers’ behaviour, and desk research and interviews to map government behaviour. Statistical and focus group analyses will be used to get insight in the participation and activity rates of people from 50 to 70. Next, the project tries to identify good practices at the company level, at the level of the civil society and at the level of (national or local) government policies that contribute to continuous investment in knowledge and skills throughout the life course, resulting in high activity rates for people between 50 and 70.

The project is financed by the EU under the 7th Framework Programme