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Low skilled older (male) workers and lifelong learning – what are their barriers and motivation? ELOA, Braga, Portugal, October 2011 Leif Emil Hansen,

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Presentation on theme: "Low skilled older (male) workers and lifelong learning – what are their barriers and motivation? ELOA, Braga, Portugal, October 2011 Leif Emil Hansen,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Low skilled older (male) workers and lifelong learning – what are their barriers and motivation? ELOA, Braga, Portugal, October 2011 Leif Emil Hansen, Roskilde University, Denmark

2 Low skilled older (male) workers The symbolic meaning of education: Mimetic Minimalistic Instrumental

3 (lack of)Basic skills Functional illiteracy (app. 25% of General Workers Union members) ICT Foreign languages (reasons: lack of routine and practise; early school experiences)

4 Socio-cultural patterns From: ’do as you are told’ to: ’tell what should be done’ (from a reactive habitus into a proactive) – history has speeded up Sceptical towards ’change’, ’career’, ’school’ etc. – based on experienced objectification

5 What to do? Workplace learning In general target group sensitive initiatives (ambassadors, outreach activities) Bring forward their own articulation of needs and wishes Involve all stakeholders (trade unions, shop stewards etc.) Allocate appropriate resources

6 Example: an empirical project Background Post-industrial and demographic changes, technological development, qualification structure, welfare state habitus

7 Aim and target group Develop methods and models for concrete senior policies lowskilled men Also bringing forward younger colleagues’ statements

8 Research methodology 4 phases: a) general research, b) questionnaire and interview survey, c) future scenario seminar, and d) recommendations

9 Findings A good work environment (80%), job security (80%) and influence on planning one’s own work (74%) A meaningful job involves in particular good colleagues/good solidarity at the workplace (91%), and a good physical work environment (84%). 89% of the employees feel that there is a need of a policy for older workers. Major problems identified: pressure of time/stress (84%), uncertain future/no job security (67%), outsourcing of various areas (67%) and lack of information

10 Management representatives speak in favour of the strategy ‘work smarter and harder’, while quite a few shop stewards and trade union representatives speak in favour of the strategy ‘work smarter not harder’. An active policy for older workers must take account of the immediate lack of motivation felt by older workers when it comes to in-service training.

11 Development of a ‘good policy’ as regards older workers: Management representatives ought to clarify and make plain what needs and intentions the company has regarding a policy for older workers. Optimum internal information ought to be ensured in the departments/companies involved. It must be clear who is responsible for what.

12 There must be support from all stakeholders at all levels in the departments/companies involved – employees, shop stewards, middle management, management and trade union representatives, etc. All information meetings for employees ought to be held in the workplaces, since this means a much larger turn-out. It would seem to be a good idea to hold a future scenario seminar, since this gives the policy for older workers a democratic anchorage.

13 When implementing possible educational programmes, attention ought to be paid to the fact that older workers have a spontaneously low level of educational motivation. Learning arenas should be familiar to the target group. Thus the policy ought to ensure both a good work environment and good opportunities for in-service training and further education.

14 The policy ought to be practical and usable The policy ought to be able to take into account both the company’s and the older workers’ individual wishes and requirements All stakeholders should accept that it takes time to develop a policy for older workers. A thorough, comprehensive process is important for the quality of the final result


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