Ageing Workforce in Italian SMEs. Findings from Inapp Survey

Paolo Emilio Cardone, INAPP

The paper aims at analyzing the behavior of the Italian companies as regard the ageing of their workforce. In particular, the contribution focuses on the solutions adopted for keeping and reintegrating ageing workers in the labour market, as well as the management strategies adopted for their professional enhancement. The paper discusses the results from Inapp survey, which focuses on the attitudes showed by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) towards older workers, analyzing the characteristics of the relationship among the enterprises market strategies and the solutions adopted for management of human resources, in light of the latest reforms of the labour market and the pension system.

This research is a sample survey on 2.000 SMEs with 10-249 employees. This sample, was considered to be representative of the Italian industry on the base of the geographical area (North-West, North-East, Center, South and Islands), economic sector (Industry, Construction, low and high added-value Services) and size class (10-19, 20-49, 50-249 employees).

Emerging trends are highlighted, in particular by means of a logistic regression model (the perceived increase in the workforce average age as dependent variable), also in order to identify feasible policy recommendations which could help organizations to face specific needs of their ageing workers and the potential obsolescence of their skills and, secondly, to deal with intergenerational relationships and knowledge transfer, assuming a whole life cycle perspective.

More needs to be done to remove age-barriers to employment and to encourage greater participation after the age of 50. Age-neutral human resources management strategies would reduce age discrimination and should be applied (e.g. recruiting processes). However, in order to increase employability, productivity and working conditions, age management strategies need to be developed: tools for a “demographic check” and for an “age structure analysis” in order to help companies build strategies adapted to their specific situations.

Presented in Poster Session 3