Presentation on theme: "Older people, work and learning Fran Ferrier Senior Research Fellow CEET."— Presentation transcript:
Older people, work and learning Fran Ferrier Senior Research Fellow CEET
Two challenges posed by Michael Keating: Reversing the decline in workforce participation among men Further increase participation for women to levels in other countries
Focus on older people (45+) Recent CEET research: Effective skills development for a diverse older workforce Ferrier, Burke and Selby Smith. Data and previous studies on: ► older people and work ► older people and learning for work 7 Case studies of skills development programs for older people in, or seeking, paid employment
The challenges reframed: ► To enable and encourage all older people who would like to participate in paid work, to do so, including: older existing workers older unemployed workers older under-employed workers older people not currently in the workforce ► HOW?
‘Older people’ are very diverse: ► For example in: Gender Social class Language and cultural background Families and living arrangements Employment experience and skills Savings for retirement Interests and goals Tastes and preferences Health and physical abilities Etc…
leisure work education work leisure Age-differentiatedAge-integrated young old middle Social roles and structures in Findsen, Learning Later, from work by Riley and Riley
Age-differentiated model Has been most common in western societies. Rigid, delineated: ► Educational roles for young people ► Work roles for the middle-aged (paid or unpaid) ► Retirement and leisure for older people ► Restricts education and learning ► Privileges middle-aged men as primary bread- winners ► Romanticises older age
Age-integrated model ► idealised’ ► ‘Simultaneous activities throughout life. ► Gives no stage of life special privilege to learning, work or recreation ► Promotes flexibility to accommodate different lifestyles ► For older adults – Encourages engagement in learning Allows for work to supplement income
Where specific action is needed: Changes in attitudes: ► Of employers – about the value and potential of older workers ► Of older people – about their abilities and usefulness Changes in practices: ► Recruitment and retention ► Work flexibilities ► Retirement More - and more appropriate - skills development opportunities for older people: ► General - employability and work readiness. ► Specific – to meet particular needs and requirements. Improved guidance and support for older people: ► With learning and work options.
More - and more appropriate - skills development?
Effective work-related skill development for diverse older people is built on: ► An understanding of learner needs, characteristics and goals ► An understanding of employer and workplace needs and expectations ► Good practice principles for adult learning
► Begins where participants are – builds on the skills and experiences that learners bring. ► Enables success – ensures that all participants can complete. ► Provides additional assistance and support where required, e.g. with English language skills. ► Builds-in flexibility to accommodate emerging needs – so that aspects of the program can be changed quickly and easily. ► Encourages collaboration – using mentoring and team work to enhance learning, through the sharing of experiences and knowledge. ► Acts on feedback
Diversity No significant changes in skill development programs are required where inclusive approaches to teaching and learning are adopted. These guide appropriate responses, ensure that the required flexibility is built in, and that learning is enjoyable and productive. These guide appropriate responses, ensure that the required flexibility is built in, and that learning is enjoyable and productive. Some modifications may be necessary to meet the specific needs of particular sub-groups, but these are likely to be small.
Investing in older people – is it worthwhile? Governments and firms question whether investments in skills development for older people are worthwhile. Signs are promising: ► The outcomes of the programs studied were almost all positive - benefits to individuals, enterprises and communities. ► Many unemployed individuals obtained employment, increased in confidence and life skills. ► People already in employment were able to take on new roles and responsibilities. ► Enterprises were able to reduce costs and increase efficiency.