Throughout the developed world demographic trends and their forecast consequences are attracting the attention of governments, academics, think tanks and the popular press alike. Population aging, in particular, is the focus of many and has generated extensive debate. Approaches commonly advocated in the literature include a mix of ‘population', ‘participation’ and ‘productivity’ measures. Immigration and population policy alongside industry reform and related productivity initiatives are also being pursued. Participation, however, remains a key element of the demographic change policy response. Evidence suggests however, that these approaches are unlikely to deliver the necessary labour force volumes. This has prompted a shift in the participation agenda to also include a stronger focus on skilled and experienced older workers. The literature suggests, however, that the current suite of practices are less than effective for the long-term unemployed, previously long-tenured older workers with specialised skills and trade-displaced workers. Adverse health and human capital outcomes often associated with social disadvantage are complicating factors. This reminds of the complexity of the challenge in seeking to deliver social equity to the disadvantaged and suggests a need for an alternative policy architecture. By integrating the three concepts of health capital, human capital and social capital we show how policy has to change if the older age cohorts of jobseekers are to be assisted to remain employable. This review includes an examination of current policy, a consolidation of the literature and original data
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