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Swiss ill-prepared for aging workforce: Report


Swiss companies are not well-prepared for the challenges of accommodating an aging workforce, a recently released study reveals.

In a comparison with companies in several other European countries that were surveyed in earlier reports by The Adecco Institute, a London-based research organization, Switzerland businesses ranked second-last to France in their readiness to handle aging workers.

"Swiss firms are among the least prepared in Europe," the report stated. The Adecco Institute, which was established by Glattbrugg, Switzerland-based human resources services firm Adecco, released its findings on Switzerland on April 17 in a white paper that updates its 2006 Demographic Fitness Index.

The index looks at the implications of aging workforces in the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland. The survey, which was compiled from data on 4,000 companies, was last updated in March to include information on Belgium and the Netherlands.

The survey points out that by 2020 there will be over one-third more Swiss workers aged 50 to 64 than in 2000 and one-fifth fewer workers 30 to 44 years old. Workers aged 60 to 64 will be 50% higher.

As early as 2010, workers older than 40 are expected to make up 55% of the Swiss workforce, according to the survey.

Even with those numbers, the survey notes that nearly half of Swiss companies have taken no measures to adapt to an aging workforce. Sixty percent of the companies have not even analyzed the age structure of their workforce, according to the report.

The survey considers whether companies are taking steps to manage the health of workers, provide them with learning programs, help with career management and encourage workplace interaction among older and younger workers.

The white paper is at