In 2018, 101.1 million of EU citizens were over 65, nearly 20% of the total population. Europe’s population is ageing and by 2050, older adults will represent 28.5% of our population. The results of the latest research and forecasting show that by 2060, one in three Europeans will be over 65. The ageing population can be divided into 3 groups: active, fragile and dependant, each with their own specific pattern of needs. The EU demographics will change, as it is estimated that the
traditional working-age population will decrease by more than 30% in the coming 50 years. The European Commission acknowledges, that the older people are valuable and respected contributors to communities, societies and economies, who bring economic opportunities to the EU. Analytical work and strategies at both national and EU level have traditionally defined the Silver Economy as a platform for meeting the potential needs of older people. There is agreement on the supply of services they will need in the future, in sectors such as healthcare, tourism, culture, entertainment and so on. There is also talk of the potentially high purchasing power of older people, highlighting the growing demand for certain goods and products in the near future. In this project, we do not want to feel inferior to Western European countries, but at the same time it is acknowledged that the project countries (Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Bulgaria) still have a different situation of older people. Our retirees have not traditionally accumulated much wealth. Among them, the highest priority is usually not the need to vacation, attend cultural events, entertain and spend just by consuming. Therefore, most older people would be
happy to work if they were not gradually excluded from the labor market, not only because of their retirement age, but also because of lower skills, lower productivity and, of course, often outdated knowledge and understanding of work processes (THE PROBLEM). The goals of the Silver Economy are clear to us, yet in the project countries for a sustainable Silver Economy, therefore, it is important to support active and healthy ageing among the over 50’s as well as to keep them in the workforce for as long as possible. Therefore, THE AIM of this project is to create a mechanism and tools to refine the skills and professional aptitudes of older people. We believe that the development of digitized aptitude tests (see WP2) and the development of a fast-track non-formal VET curriculum (see WP3) will create tools to enable older people to return to the
labor market after a long break or to learn and continue their professional career in a relative or perhaps in a radically opposite professional field. Such an approach will be innovative in the VET practice of all project countries, as short and effective vocational training opportunities based on the pre-identification of potentially most successful vocational choices are not offered to older people.