Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Many company closures await when elderly small business owners retire

02.11.2011
The population of the EU is becoming older, and an ever smaller number of people have to provide for the ageing population.

In Sweden, an already critical employment situation is exacerbated by the fact that 25% of managers of small and medium-sized businesses plan to retire in the next five years, and this is estimated to lead to a company closure in one in ten cases. Research from the University of Gothenburg now shows what can be done to keep elderly people in the labour market.

Under the EU-funded research project Best Agers, researchers at the University of Gothenburg have conducted demographic studies of the Västra Götaland Region and Norrbotten.

“Larger cities also cope well in the longer term. But large parts of the countryside, including in Västra Götaland Region, are affected by low birth rates and outward migration. It will be difficult to maintain community services in those areas,” says Roland Kadefors, a docent (associate professor) at the Department of Work Science of the University of Gothenburg.

The researchers have conducted demographic analyses and made projections of outward migration and future age structures.

Small and medium-sized companies – companies with fewer than 250 employees – account for a large share of employment in Sweden’s small municipalities. Sweden has one of the oldest sets of managers in that category of businesses in Europe, for historical and political reasons. 25% of these business owners will retire in the next five years, and 40% within ten years. This is equivalent to 55,000–60,000 companies, 175,000 companies if sole traders are included. These companies account for more than 700,000 jobs. The risk of closure is estimated at around ten per cent, equivalent to 70,000 jobs.

“Generational changes are critical times for small businesses. Either a family member or am employee takes over or the company is sold to an outsider, and that can either go well or go badly. The alternative is to close down the business,” says Kadefors.

Under the research project Best Agers, the researchers in the eight participating countries have identified the obstacles to labour over the age of 55 remaining in the workforce or returning to it that exist in each country. Employees, employers and representatives of authorities have been interviewed.

The result for Sweden is a 17-point programme (see below), in which a number of measures are listed, at employee level, at employer level and at society level. Kadefors highlights one of the items at the society level is particularly important: being a pioneer.

“It is important for older people to be involved in the parliamentary work and in other visible public activity. Unfortunately the trend is moving in the wrong direction in the Swedish Parliament, with fewer people over the age of 65 in the present parliament than in the previous one.”

A 17 Point Programme for Sustained Employability

For the older employees themselves:

Look for employers who have a good record with respect to work environment, competence development programmes, and a positive attitude to older employees.
Take advantage of offers to join competence development programmes.
Avoid as far as possible repetitive work, shift work, and physically strenuous work tasks. Listen to your own body.
Try to establish a good relationship with your supervisors, so that they engage in your work and are aware of your accomplishments.
Engage in your trade union and try to interest them to open discussions with the employer how to further principles of Age Management in the workplace.
Engage in physical training in free time.
Develop a CV that reflects the full range of knowledge that you possess, not only listing exams and jobs.

For employers:

Develop the work environment so as to make sure that all employees are given work tasks that comply with their capacity, taking into account individual characteristics such as age and sex.
Implement principles of Age Management in the work organization, in consultation with the trade unions.
Develop work career plans for all employees, involving competence development programmes.
Develop mentoring programs where older employees can use time for knowledge transfer to younger ones.
Develop stepwise and flexible pension options in order to retain some older employees and their knowledge for a longer time, rather than applying strict compulsory retirement based on age alone.

Work with the organization, in particular middle management, in order to develop a positive attitude towards older employees. This means recognizing the competence of older employees and communicating that they are often able to achieve at least as good results as younger workmates, if they are given adequate working conditions.

At the society level:

Revoke all sorts of age discrimination in laws and regulations.
Build safeguards against age discrimination in the operation of governmental agencies having an impact on ageing and work.
Implement an ombudsman function for appeals from people who consider themselves victims of age discrimination.

Be trendsetters. Involve older people in parliamentary work and other visible governmental operations.

For more information, please contact: Roland Kadefors
Telephone: +46 (0)31–786 3224, +46 (0)706-233 534
E-mail: roland.kadefors@av.gu.se
website: http://www.av.gu.se/Personal/Roland_Kadefors/

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se

More articles from Business and Finance:

nachricht Microtechnology industry is hiring – positive developments of past years continue
09.04.2018 | IVAM Fachverband für Mikrotechnik

nachricht RWI/ISL-Container Throughput Index with minor decline on a high overall level
20.03.2018 | RWI – Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung

All articles from Business and Finance >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microscopic trampoline may help create networks of quantum computers

17.07.2018 | Information Technology

In borophene, boundaries are no barrier

17.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

The role of Sodium for the Enhancement of Solar Cells

17.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>