Live longer. Work longer. Learn longer.

Unternehmensentwicklung und Arbeitsgestaltung
© Fraunhofer IAO


Demographic developments are radically changing the future requirements for HR development and deployment: the ability of industry to perform effectively increasingly depends on older staff.

Nonetheless, many companies are still planning their HR policy based on the so-called deficit hypothesis, which assumes that the physical and mental capabilities of more elderly employees are inferior. The latest research findings show, however, that this assumption does not stand up to scrutiny.

Together with selected companies in the metal and electrical/electronics industries we are therefore devising and testing new methods of staff management, customized learning strategies and the design of production systems that promote learning. All of these solutions essentially aim to tap into the underutilized potential of older staff. The project conducted by the Arbeitgeberverbände der Metall- und Elektroindustrie (the regional employers’ associations in the German metal and electrical (M+E) industry) is being conducted on the initiative of Südwestmetall, with scientific management being provided by the IAO and the Center for Neuroscience and Learning in Ulm.