Work Ability Management (WAM)

Lead partner: Age Management z. s. (Czech Republic)

  • Blik Op Werk (Netherlands)
  • Slovenská asociácia age managementu, o.z., SAAM (Slovakia)
  • Nemzeti Nepegeszegugyi Kozpont [National Public Health Centre] (Hungary)
  • Arbeit und Zukunft e.V. (Germany)

Project duration: 01.09.2020 til 31.08.2023 (36 months)

Summary

The Work Ability Management (WAM) project focuses on addressing the issue of supporting the employment of (not only) aging workers through the concept of work ability. Finland began to deal with a systematic solution of this area with a considerable lead over other European countries already in the 1980s. The Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH), especially Professor Juhani Ilmarinen, participated on the solution. Individual factors of work ability were identified by FIOH experts, a method for measuring the work ability of Work Ability Index was developed and this concept and its methods were spread especially in countries of Western Europe and many other countries all over the world. Central European countries work very little with this concept. The main aspect of the proposed project is social inclusion, the activities aim to support the work ability of employees and those currently unemployed, to eliminate age discrimination of aging employees, to promote gender equality and to seek new innovative approaches for maintaining their employability through education and counseling activities.

The consortium that will implement the project consists of specialized workplaces that have been working on the concept of work ability for a long time: Blik op Werk from the Netherlands, Arbeit und Zukunft from Germany, National Public Health Center (NKK) from Hungary, Slovak Association of Age Management and NGO Age Management from Czech Republic.

The main objective of the proposed project is to bring together European expert organizations dealing with the issue of work ability and age management, to share their methods and to develop new products focusing on the individual needs of employed and unemployed people, including support through digital technologies. In Central European countries, there is a significant lack of trained adult education and career guidance professionals who are able to work with this concept and transfer this knowledge to other target groups, both employed and unemployed, in order to support their work ability in the long term. The main target group of the project is therefore trainers/ counselors/facilitators and other experts working in the field of adult education and career counseling.

The proposed project activities support the achievement of the main objective with four major outputs. At the beginning of the project implementation, an electronic publication “Promoting Aging in the Workplace” will be developed. It will collect a description of methods, tools, examples of good practice, teaching methods, training programs and analytical tools of partner´s organizations in the field of work capacity support (used in social inclusion, prevention of social exclusion, lifelong learning support) all participating countries. This handbook will be followed by the development of a methodology of work ability management for the target group of people employed or considering a change of profession as well as a methodology for managing work ability support for the target group of the unemployed. The fourth major output is the web-based digital coaching platform, which aims to map a person’s potential, support learning and planning, and teach him/her to manage career change. This created platform will also be the part of the multiplication actions of pilot validation of newly developed methodologies for both employed and unemployed people, which will be implemented in all participating countries. A total of 30 pilot events for 80 people will be implemented. In order to support the development of all major outputs, two short-term training events for trainers/counselors/facilitators will be implemented, namely “Work Ability Support” in Germany for 13 lecturers and “Towards Successful Seniority” in the Czech Republic for 11 lecturers.

Great emphasis will be put on dissemination activities with the aim of disseminating essential outputs at all levels. To support them, a final conference in the Czech Republic will be organized, to which representatives of important institutions dealing with this issue will be invited. All project outputs will be translated into all languages of the partner´s countries involved as well as in English and will be freely available to all interested parties on the websites of the promoter and partner organizations. In the area of long-term impact, the project aims to create the conditions for extending the concept of work ability and age management as a possible tool to address the aging population in working life, as has been done in Finland. This concept is still rarely used in Central European countries, and its effectiveness has been confirmed by many scientific studies.

Objectives of the project

The main objective of the proposed project is to bring together European specialist workplaces dealing with the issue of work ability and age management, to share their methods and to develop new products focusing on the individual needs of both employed and unemployed people, including support through digital technologies.

Partial objectives

  • Sharing experiences, examples of good practice, teaching methods, training programs and analytical tools of partner organizations in the field of work ability support
  • Developing a common methodology for managing work ability support
  • Joint development of the digital platform “Digital Coach” to familiarize with the concept of work ability and for individual diagnostics
  • Joint training of professionals from participating partner organizations
  • Implementation of study programs for adult education professionals, higher education institutions and guidance for unemployed people in each partner country

Target groups and their needs

  • Main Target Group: Lecturers / Facilitators / Counselors / Mentors in Adult Education and Career Counseling
  • Intermediate target groups
  • Employees, including those at a career crossroad
  • The unemployed, including the long-term unemployed and people with disabilities

Activities

  • Transnational Project Meetings: at every partner´s organization (total: 6 times)
  • Intellectual Outputs
  1. Electronic publication: „Promoting aging in the workplace“
    Implementation period: 1 October 2020 – 30 April 2021
    Responsible partner organization: Slovak Association of Age Management, o.z. (SK)
  2. Methodology for managing work support for the target group of employed people or considering a change of profession
    Implementation period: 1 April – 31 October 2021
    Responsible partner organization: Arbeit und Zukunft (DE)
  3. Methodology for managing work support for the target group of unemployed people
    Implementation period: 1 August 2021 – 28 February 2022
    Responsible partner organization: Nemzeti Nepegeszsegugyi Kozpont (HU)
  4. Creation of the web platform „Digital Coach“
    Implementation period: 1 January – 31 December 2022
    Responsible partner organization: Age Management z.s. (CZ)
  • Learning, Teaching, Training Activities

To support the development and implementation of key project outputs, two short-term training events for lecturers / experts / advisers from the participating partner institutions will be implemented.

  1. Work ability support at a partner organization in Germany
    Implementation period: June 2021
    Planned number of participants: 13
    Responsible partner organization: Arbeit und Zukunft (DE)
  2. Towards successful professional seniority at the submitting organization
    Age Management z.s.
    Implementation period: February 2022
    Planned number of participants: 11
    Responsible partner organization: Age Management z.s. (CZ)
  • Multiplier Events
  1. Final conference
    Implementation period: June 2023
    Responsible partner organization: Age Management z.s. (CZ)
  2. Pilot verification of newly developed methodologies in each participating partner country
    Implementation period: 1 December 2022 – 31 July 2023
    Responsible partner organization: Each partner in the home country

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