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Ageing and the Public Service

Human Resource Challenges

image of Ageing and the Public Service

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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Review of Country Strategies

This chapter reviews the different strategies that can be undertaken by countries in response to the challenges defined in the previous chapters. It notes the importance of a holistic approach, with the relevant government organisations and the different levels of government working together to co-ordinate the implementation of the chosen strategies. The review of the nine case studies reveals the necessity for more proactive strategies based on: reviewing the demographic profile of the public service workforce to assess potential capacity gaps and financial difficulties; reviewing the longer term capacity challenges that may emerge as service demands change and fiscal latitude becomes more restricted; and examining the room for manoeuvre created by changes to the wider workforce.

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