Previously published as: Training Strategies for Tomorrow
Online from: 2003
Subject Area: Learning and Development
Options: To add Favourites and Table of Contents Alerts please take a Emerald profile
|Title:||Italy's ageing workforce: Improving HRM practices can prevent skills shortages|
|Source:||Development and Learning in Organizations, Vol. 26 Iss: 3|
|pp:||22 - 24|
|Keywords:||Age discrimination, Age diversity, Age stereotypes, Demographics, Employees attitudes, Human resource management practices, Italy, Labour force participation, Older workers, Skills shortages, Training|
|Article type:||General review|
|DOI:||10.1108/14777281211225785 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
Purpose – This paper aims to examine the reasons for low labour force participation rates among older workers in Italy and discuss how changing human resource management practices can improve the situation.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper analyzes Italian population trends and age-specific workforce participation rates, considering variations by industry, gender and management level. It looks at common age stereotypes and the effects of implementing human resource management policies designed for a younger workforce. It outlines initiatives undertaken by leading companies such as ENI, IBM and BMW to manage an ageing workforce.
Findings – Since 1950, the proportion of the Italian population over retirement age has more than doubled. Birth rates are low and life expectancy is going up. Unless participation rates increase, Italy's labour force is likely to be 40 per cent smaller in 2050 than it was in 1995. With more people retiring and fewer potentially active workforce entrants, Italy can anticipate chronic labour shortages and a widening skills gap. How can the country increase the number of active workers available to support an older population? And how can new human resource management approaches help companies to better manage an ageing workforce?
Practical implications – The paper provides examples describing the human resource management approaches that can help to prevent skill shortages and loss of knowledge as older workers retire.
Social implications – The paper draws attention to social and cultural factors contributing to age discrimination and the effects of negative stereotypes on older workers' motivation and on their access to training and development opportunities.
Originality/value – This paper highlights the importance of training as a way to overcome negative age stereotypes, using older workers as a valuable resource able to pass on knowledge, skills and company history to those just starting out on their careers.
To purchase this item please login or register.
Complete and print this form to request this document from your librarian