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Older Workers in a Sustainable Society

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Edited By Richard Ennals and Robert H. Salomon

The challenges of an ageing population and workforce are increasingly recognised by policy makers, managers and workers in many countries. In this book, prominent researchers address these challenges. It deals with health and workability, and gives data and viewpoints on competitive advantages and disadvantages of older workers. The study includes data on attitudes, specific measures and policies from many parts of the world: Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and Singapore. The authors present a variety of interesting examples of measures used in workplaces, to motivate and enable workers to stay longer in working life. This book is an encounter between research and policy: it contributes to the discussion of policies related to older workers.

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Part 1: Yes we Can? Work Ability of Older Workers 13

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13 Part 1: Yes we Can? Work Ability of Older Workers 14 15 1 Research Challenges for Older Workers Juhani Ilmarinen Introduction to Work Ability There has been a growing international research community, with a focus on older workers. Considerable resources of research information are available through the International Commission on Occupational Health, and in particular from proceedings of workshops, symposia and conferences under the auspices of the ICOH Scientific Committee ”Ageing and Work” in 1990-2010, chaired by Prof. Willem J. Goedhard. The first one started in The Hague, Netherlands in 1990 and the most recent one was in Tampere, Finland in 2010. There has been increasing convergence on Work Ability, which has pro- vided a unifying base for research. The “Work Ability House” model (See fig.1.1), brings together the separate dimensions of Work Ability, enabling the development of a holistic approach. This covers Health, Competence, Values, Attitudes and Motivation, and Work and Management. This “house” is placed in an external operational environment influenced of society, culture, legislation, education policy and social and health policy. In addition the immediate social environment and the family may influence work ability. Figure 1.1 The work ability House 16 A Better and Longer Working Life There are of course other research challenges, with the objective of identifying how a better and longer working life can be achieved. How long can we work? What is the right retirement age? What is the best retirement process? Consideration of case studies reminds us of the diversity of...

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