Learning and training for sustained employability across working lives
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The provision and enactment of continuous learning has become a defining aspect of contemporary work and occupational development. This is because, particularly in countries with advanced industrial economies, the requirements for being and remaining competent at work are constantly changing due to factors such as globalisation, new technologies and organisational restructuring. There is also a trend towards individuals having longer working lives, as ageing populations mean mature-age workers stay longer in the workforce. As a result, workers are continually responding to changing circumstances to sustain their employability across extended working lives. Much of that response comes through learning and training undertaken in quite different ways from the approaches used in entry level preparation for employment. Consequently, lifelong learning and continuing education are becoming an increasingly important phenomenon in these countries, yet require distinct educational provisions. Hence, we need to know more about how it can be effectively organised and enacted. Within this context, this paper discusses the findings of interviews with Australian workers in two industries: transport and logistics, and health and community services, about their learning experiences and preferences in sustaining their employability. The paper argues that these employees' work and learning experiences are consistently reported in those interviews as comprising the effective means of continuing work-related learning and training that supports and sustains their employability through the workplace changes and demands they encounter and, hence, across their working lives. Further, the paper considers some of the implications arising from these accounts and suggests that the learning practices and expectations identified establish strong premises for developing integrative models of learning and training provision that are more suited to workers and workplaces in these changing times.
International Journal of Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning (IJCELL)
© 2013 Centre for Research in Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Education not elsewhere classified