SME Chamber

GRTU President, Mr Paul Abela, participates in the review of active ageing by EU Social partners (2)

 Within the framework of their current EU social partner work programme, UEAPME, BUSINESSEUROPE, CEEP and ETUC held a joint conference this week on promoting active ageing through lifelong learning. GRTU President Paul Abela participated at this important conference entitled European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing-From Plan to Action.

During the event the participants were given an opportunity to share their experiences and explain the different initiatives in their own countries. Three objectives were identified that required focus for the successful adoption of an action plan for Active Ageing and Solidarity between generations: Action at legislative level, Improve living and working conditions and Make education and training systems more effective.

Paul Abela stated that Malta is already well on track targeting all three objectives, they are well embedded in our national programme. Unlike some countries, Mr Abela was pleased to inform that in Malta individuals working after pensionable age do not lose their pension benefits. He also said that a phenomenon is developing whereby those that have been employed all their life before going into pension decide to leap into business while those that have been in business all their life decide to take it a bit more easy before pension and find a stable employment. He said this was an interesting phenomenon that should be followed.

A number of good practices were presented amongst which that from France, the Generation Contract, whereby employers are incentivized though a grant to employ an individual in or near pensionable age with an younger individual. GRTU’s President emphasized however that the competitiveness and sustainability of a company cannot be jeopradised

UEPME Social Affairs Adviser Helen Hoffmann chaired the session on “Anticipating the skills needs and adapting the skills of older workers”. For Crafts and SMEs, external support coming from their business organisations or Public Employment Service can be a useful means for tailor-made training of older workers as presented by an Austrian case. In the final round table, UEAPME Social Affairs Director Liliane Volozinskis stressed the need for adapting to an ageing workforce through a lifecycle approach, delivering relevant continuous training and mobilising funding in a cost-effective way, as well as broader policies on fostering health promotion, flexible working arrangements and adequate policy frameworks. She also insisted on return of investment for employers.

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