The purpose of the project EMPOWER+ was to provide mature-age employees from the public and private sector in Greece, Italy, Germany and Spain with the necessary skills, so as to enrich their role and diffuse their know-how and experience to younger and less experienced employees. Moreover the enhancement of the mature age workers’ skills and knowledge acts as a factor that gives new meaning to their work duties and urges them to stay longer at work.
EMPOWER+ built on the good practices recorded by its predecessor EMPOWER (ESF Article 6 – Innovative Actions) and expanded the partnership to new EU countries with the aim to improve the skills and competencies of mature-age employees and ensure their match with labor market needs so as to promote active labor market policies. EMPOWER+ targeted both genders in the public-private sectors.
Given the wider context of the project, EMPOWER+ aimed to:
a) prepare and implement capacity building programmes targeting mature-age employees of both genders;
b) Expand the successful network established under its predecessor (EMPOWER);
c) Further explore and adopt good practices on active labor market policies and age management;
d) Promote active ageing by developing non-routine skills and by creating opportunities of continuing activity in the labor force;
e) Foster the involvement of all relevant stakeholders in the participating countries and the EC; and
f) Test and transfer common methods and systems for anticipation of skills needs.
Due to the fact the general EU trend in skills needs and occupations refers to higher skills requirements across all occupations (“New Skills for New Jobs” EC strategy), the ultimate goal was to develop transversal key competencies to the specific group (mature-age workers), such as problem-solving and analytical skills, self-management and communication skills and more generally “non-routine” skills, so as to promote their employability in a demanding labor market. Since mature-age workers tend (or perceived) to be less ICT-literate, emphasis was put on developing ICT skills as well.
The impact of the project was multidimensional, affecting major sectors of the economic and social life, contributing overall to raising living standards of the involved regions and consequently across the EU, bringing these regions and respective stakeholders closer to 2012, the European Year for Active Ageing.