and ageing at work
New visions and
opportunities for older workers in the Nordic countries
Tikkanen, Bernharður Guðmundsson, Leif Emil Hansen, Susanna Paloniemi,
Hanne Randle & Jon Sandvik
Nordic Council of Ministers.
available at http://www.norden.org/pub/
this report we have been looking at the situation of older workers from
the perspective of
learning in the Nordic countries. Older workers in the Nordic countries
(OWN) is one
the networks within the Nordic Network for Adult Learning (NVL) supported
Council. The task of the OWN is to promote discussion on employability
and the opportunities available for them. Nordic values and traditions,
welfare state, learner-centred adult education, democracy, and equality,
are the basis of this
The network aims to challenge long established mindsets, as well as the
concerning working and learning in later life. We take a comprehensive
older workers’ ability and willingness as well as opportunity to work longer.
to promote an overall wellbeing among older workers by advocating for more
and opportunities in working, learning, and ageing. To this end we need
stigmatising stereotypes and identify prevailing ambivalences, and, above
the existing discussion by bringing forward the voice and initiative of
This means that a strong ethical foundation of mutual respect and
between all the parties concerned is the basis of the network. As we grow
we become more different than similar.
review presented in this report shows that, on one hand, the values and
practice of the
life and the educational systems in the Nordic countries provide frames,
also for the older workers to remain active in working life and beyond.
especially pronounced when seen against the situation in the other European
On the other hand, the Nordic model shows weaknesses in its crucial aspects,
in regards inclusion and equal opportunity among those with low-resources,
both in the
of working life and education. This suggests that there are some structural-functional
which we need to work with. However, an equally, if not more powerful factor
play: the long-established socio-cultural-cognitive mindsets in thinking
about the equation
working, learning and ageing.
the end of the report we make recommendations for further actions needed.
We call the
governments, and local politicians, as well as employers and social partners,
education and training providers to provide optimal frames for flexible
and practice. Such a perspective is not completely new. Calls on this line
made by, for example, the OECD (2006), European Commission (2006), and
& Nyhan, 2006). In this discussion OWN network wishes to bring forward
dimension with its rather distinctive, positive characteristics.