Ageing workforce management in manufacturing systems: state of the art and future research agenda
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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The workforce ageing phenomenon is recently affecting most of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries, due to a general ageing of their populations and a higher average retirement age of the workforce. In this paper, the topic of ageing workforce management is addressed from a production research standpoint, with the aim of understanding how older workers can be supported and involved in a manufacturing system. First, the current state of the art related to the ageing workforce in production systems is presented. This is structured according to four main topics: (1) analysis and evaluation of ageing workers’ functional capacities, (2) consideration of ageing workers’ capacities in industrial system modelling and management, (3) analysis and exploitation of ageing workers’ expertise, (4) acknowledgement, analysis, design and integration of supporting technologies. Next, the discussion on the impact of the ageing workforce on manufacturing systems’ performances leads to the comparison of some technological advances that are related to the Industry 4.0 paradigms. Finally, a future research agenda on this topic is proposed, based on the same topics classification proposed for the literature analysis. Five different research areas are derived, suggesting future directions for appropriate research concerning the employ of older workers in production environments.