According to the Ageing Report 2018 (EC, 2018), the number of workers in Europe will decline for 20 million by 2060. The question thus arises how this shrinking pool of workers unequally dispersed in the European regions will influence the competitiveness and profitability of global supply chains and location of the production and distribution nodes. Within the human resource market, social infrastructure - commuting costs and facilities in the origin and destination influence wage rates and/or land rent, capitalised in the value of residential properties. These aspects influence the total costs of human resources in the activity cells of supply chains and the stream of profit achieved in a chain. The corporation, whose activity cells are located in the local area which is a net importer of human resources, has to pay higher average wages than the corporation, whose facilities are located in the district from which the labour is exported. If higher wages do not cover these differences, they create incentives to commute into other functional regions. The edges of the functional regions are the lines from which human resources are indifferent regarding commuting to a given central place where the activity cell is located or in the competing central place. These indifference curves move as relative wages and the social infrastructure change. Therefore, those planning the location and intensity of activities in the nodes of a supply chain should consider the influence of the required level of wages, housing costs and social infrastructure.
The growing shortage of skilled social workers, accompanied by an ageing population and the increasing number of fragile, elderly individuals that require social services, poses a serious challenge for our society. The magnitude of this problem is seen in the various predictions hypothesizing that, globally, there is likely to be a shortfall of millions of social workers for the successful provision of social services. To make matters worse, there are not enough social work students to fill that void, whereas the existing employee turnover is another serious concern for the social work field. Policy makers in many countries do not yet understand the pattern of growing needs and have no tool to forecast the future increase in educational requirements for creating a pool of adequately skilled social workers. In addition to this, understanding the patterns of workforce entrance and exit for social workers and the dynamics of transition becomes important for national policy and decision makers. In our paper, we build on current research about knowledge management in social work settings to demonstrate that knowledge management can have a positive impact in helping to fulfil the important role of social work in any ageing society. With our research, we contribute to the underdeveloped literature about knowledge management in the public sector and especially in social work settings and to the knowledge-based view of the organization. We present a multiple decrement model of social workers’ entrance and transition from social work student and social worker trainee to fully productive social worker, to their exit, whether by changed profession, retirement or death. We argue that the availability of social workers in a national economy depends on the development and operationalization of appropriate policies, where knowledge management can be influential. Our model allows measuring the quality of the national policy system related to the social work profession, something which has not been achieved yet, and shows how knowledge management solutions can positively influence the whole field of social work. We apply an objective measuring tool developed by David Bogataj, grounded in an already developed actuarial–mathematical method. Our case relies on the collection and analysis of relevant data found in publicly available statistical reports for Slovenia. Existing data enables us to provide assumptions on how to better forecast the transition of social workers.
Physical environment, especially urban facilities that are age-friendly are of particular importance for those growing older. Investments in facilities and changes in the environment can lower the disability threshold and travelling costs for caregivers and other suppliers. It influences the needs for care in each category of dependency, measured by care dependency scale. The good planning of a Home Health Care Structure requires a resolution of several complex challenges, dependent on dynamics of the rapid ageing of the European population. Therefore the spatial interaction model developed individually for each group of functional capacity can improve the forecast of overall dynamics of the structure according to age cohorts of older persons in care, and optimise investments in home care systems and other facilities in the framework of regional and urban spatial planning. The method for calculation of expected future structure of cohorts and human resources required for the care of older adults which are dependent on the help of others is given. As a novelty, the actuarial present value of lifetime care costs is a subject of criterion function at a given life expectancy. Here the disability thresholds are determined in a given environment, and the needed capacities are forecasted using the asymmetric Lowry-like gravity model associated with the multi-state transition approach. The numerical example shows how we can plan the dynamics of needed investments in facilities and human resources based on the forecasted structure of care dependency categories if some new financial mechanisms for seniors are available and the tax system is friendly to older cohorts.