SME Chamber

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

 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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