By 2020 the western developed world will look very differently from a demographic perspective: aging and all its implications will be one of our main concerns. On the 9th of March took place in Berlin the first of a series of evening debates supported by the British Council and their transatlantic initiative TN2020 focussing on labour market challenges in aging societies. A group of young professionals coming from the USA and several European countries (Romania, Germany, Belgium, Italy, England) was asked during the debate to focus on possible scenarios on the labour market by 2020 and to identify main priorities.
The task was to point out priorities to address to policy makers based on best practices. There was a general consensus about the necessity to overcome issues in the light of the aging question, in order to shift to a constructive approach. The biggest challenges are getting a better match between future needs on the labour market and education – and in a broader sense the intergenerational dialogue in general. The latter in particular should be kept alive and improved as much as possible, avoiding mutual disadvantages: new generations are the future, but elderly people are an important resource in terms of transferable knowledge and skills. The participants discussed the need for clear oriented policies with the purpose of putting into practice the required structural adjustments of needs that are already perceived on a grass-root level. The implications of demographic changes in regional and urban development and the impact of technology will be discussed in the following months. To find out further information, please have a look at the projects online presentation and the Call for Applications.