Germany - Perspektive 50 plus: Beschäftigungspakte für Ältere in den Regionen (Employment Pacts for Older People in the Regions)
A targeted approach including individualised counselling and employer engagement
Who did it?
German Job centres implemented the programme on behalf of the Public Employment Services (PES). They collaborated with a wide range of regional networks. The initiative was funded by the Ministry of Labour.
Where are we drawing the evidence from?
Information sourced from the European Commission database Mutual Learning Programme Database of National Labour Market Practices
What kind of support was it?
A targeted approach which involved intensive individualised counselling. Employer engagement was a crucial element of the programme. Similarly, the development of regional networks through the collaboration of Jobcentres and other social partners was essential.
Where did it run?
It was a national programme in Germany but was implemented regionally through ‘employment pacts’. These were implemented by the Jobcentres in collaboration with regional networks consisting of companies, chambers and associations, educational institutions, municipalities, politicians, social partners, churches and social organisations.
When did it run?
2005 – 2007 – phase 1
2008 – 2010 – phase 2
2011 – 2015 - phase 3
Who did it serve?
Older workers and long-term unemployed people aged 50-64.
What were its key features?
- Services to jobseekers included:
- Social and professional profiling in order to enable effective match of jobseeker with employer
- A personalised approach which took account of the individual’s life experiences and socioeconomic circumstances
- A partnership between employer, counsellor and jobseeker, with the Jobcentre acting as mediator between the jobseeker and employer. This was key to facilitating the integration of the unemployed person into the workplace
- Liaison by the Jobcentre with employment agencies to offer older jobseekers a variety of opportunities to enter employment
- Employer engagement:
- Jobcentres supporting employers (especially SMEs without HR functions) to fill vacancies: through help identifying candidates and writing job descriptions
- Employers were given advice tailored to them about how to integrate individual older workers on the programme
- Employers were offered intensive counselling around age-friendly employment practices, including encouraging them to invest in making changes
- Local Jobcentres had autonomy to run their Perspektive 50plus programme in the way that met their local needs. The result was a significant mobilisation of regional networks and local agencies which enabled the programme to meet the specific needs of each region
- A wage subsidy for employers who took on an older worker. This covered 50% of wages up to 36 months, with the proviso that the employer kept the worker on after the subsidy period was over (for a maximum of 12 months)
- Knowledge exchange – employers in regional pacts could share learning through the dissemination of good practice (workshops and online platform)
What were its outcomes?
- The programme led to increased employment of older workers
- Of 200,000 people who were part of the programme in 2011/12, over 70,000 entered found work
- Of the 70,000 contracts which were secured only 34% involved a financial subsidy. This could be attributed to employers’ increased confidence in recruiting an older worker (resultant from the counsellors’ tailored guidance to employers). Conversely, it could point to employers not wanting to be bound by the commitment to retain the worker for the duration of the financial subsidy
- The success of reintegration into work relied on employment policies, as well as other welfare policies in relation to, for example, health and family responsibilities
- The programme highlighted the need to maintain a lifelong learning culture. This is important in increasing awareness about the benefits of retaining and recruiting older workers, as well as developing older workers’ skills to improve employability, regardless of subsidies