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Ageing and the Public Service

Human Resource Challenges

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Government workforces are ageing even more rapidly than the rest of society. This raises specific challenges and opportunities. An ageing public service increases fiscal burdens while decreasing immediate capacities to deliver services. In the long run, however, it also offers a strategic opportunity to downsize the public sector workforce if necessary and to change employment conditions and the management of government employees where this is deemed reasonable. This book reviews the experience of 9 OECD member countries in this field. It presents some conclusions on strategies that countries could implement in order to adjust their human resource policies to the wider ageing challenge. 

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Ageing and the Public Service in Ireland

The demographic situation in Ireland differs from that in many OECD member countries, with larger cohorts of younger people and smaller cohorts of older people aged 65 and above. As a result, large-scale departures have been projected over the long term, and Ireland will face similar policy challenges as other OECD member countries, but they will emerge much later. However, the public service is also ageing more rapidly than the rest of society, and Ireland will have to face a medium term challenge: more than one out of five current civil servants will exit the labor force in the coming decade, which is higher than in the past, but lower than in many other OECD member countries.

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