Promoting social change by design

There is a strong evidence base demonstrating the integral relationship between work health and wellbeing. In light of the global demographic changes we are currently witnessing there has recently been much debate and discussion around the merits of promoting active ageing in the workplace. Concerns across Europe that there will be more retired people than workers in the future has led to a surge of interest in interventions that could support individuals to work beyond current retirement age norms (International Labour Organisation 2002)

Named as one of the key areas within the objectives of the EU commission, there has been a call on countries within the European Union to address the needs of individuals who are furthest removed from the labour market and disadvantaged as a consequence of disability, age, gender or ethnicity.  Some limited progress has been made and there exists a need to develop innovative strategies to increase the opportunities afforded to these groups in relation to accessing employment.

Claire Craig (Lab4living) has been part of a European funded project focusing on strategies to promote employability for those furthest removed from the labour market.  This collaboration has brought practitioners from Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands together and has led to the development of a curriculum innovation that will equip health care professionals of the future with the skills required to develop strategies to enable individuals who are occupationally disadvantaged to access work. This work has culminated in the piloting of four 15 ECTS credit modules each focusing on the needs of a different population.

Claire says, ‘…the project has been a huge success.  The UK focus was on the development of strategies to promote active ageing in the workplace and partnerships with manufacturing companies and with older people who have informed the development of the programme.  We have achieved all we set out to do and it is hoped that through this work we will play a role in ensuring that future health and social care practitioners are fully equipped to develop and deliver innovative interventions that support the work agenda for older people…’

If you would like to hear more about this work please contact Claire Craig at or go to the website EEE4all which describes the work in more detail.

Project updates

Lab4Living, Sheffield Hallam University,
Furnival Building, 153 Arundel Street, Sheffield, S1 2NU
Phone 0114 225 6753 | Fax 0114 225 6931