We've just seen the launch in Copenhagen of the European Year of Active Ageing 2012, which deals with an issue that will be vital for all of us in the years ahead.

The challenge is that we’re living longer than ever before. It’s a good problem to have, of course: since 1960, average life expectancy in Europe has gone up by eight years.

But combine this with falling birth rates, and the result is that we’re likely to see increasing numbers of older people in the European workforce. More than half of older workers currently leave work before they have to, for a variety of reasons. Estimates show, though, that there will be a big rise in workers aged 55 to 64 between 2010 and 2060, as a share of the total workforce. Increasingly, employers will have to get used to relying on older workers.