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Age pyramid

Investing in sustainable careers

Source : National Social Security Office, centralised statistics (according to place of residence of each worker)

The chemicals, plastics and life sciences sector’s workforce reflects the general ageing of the population in Europe, reinforced by a low employee turnover rate in the industry.

In 2018, almost 30,000 jobs in the chemicals and life sciences industry were held by employees aged over 50, representing nearly one-third of the workforce. Over the last ten years, this ratio has risen from 19% to 32%, bringing the average age of employees in the sector from 40 in 2008 to 43 in 2018.

This makes it crucial for the sector to monitor the age pyramid of its workforce and define actions directed at attracting new talent for the sector.

To address this challenge, Co-valent and the sector put a lot of efforts into:

  • Advocacy for a modern and integrated STEM-education. As from primary education children and students need to receive STEM-training to understand the importance of STEM for the chemicals, plastics and life sciences sector and for resolving contemporary issues.
  • Promotion of the sector as first employer of choice, in strong collaboration with universities, colleges, high schools and other stakeholders.
  • Competences of the future, such as digitalisation and automation, together with innovative training methods such as extended reality and dual learning.
  • Sustainable and healthy careers via the Demography Fund which is a unique initiative set up by essenscia together with the social partners in order to foster longer and sustainable careers. After two years of activities already up to 60,000 employees in the sector benefit from tailormade measures introduced and financed by this fund.
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Sector initiatives