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EPALE

Elektroniczna platforma na rzecz uczenia się dorosłych w Europie

 
 

Discussion

The role of adult learning in helping career development

30/10/2018
by David Mallows

/da/file/career-development-0Career development

Career development

 

As part of our November focus, EPALE is organising a written discussion on the role of adult education in helping employees adapt to the fast-changing world of work.

The discussion will take place on this page on 22 November at 10:00 CET and will be moderated by EPALE Thematic Coordinator David MallowsDon’t miss the opportunity to share your views and experiences with the EPALE community on any of the following topics:

10:00-12:30 CET

  • How can adult education respond to the needs of adults working in the gig economy?
    • With increasing numbers of occupations involving working independently on electronic platforms how can adult education respond contingently to their needs, to ensure their autonomy and effectiveness is not impacted upon by their isolation and lack of collective weight?
    • How can we identify, validate, and promote the new skills that underpin the effectiveness of those involved in working in this way?
  • We know that those with high levels of qualifications are more likely to engage in workplace training and education. How can we support the career development of those in jobs that require few skills?
    • How can we ensure that a vicious cycle of low demand, leading to the deterioration of existing skills and the lack of development of new skills (digital, literacy, numeracy, soft etc.) doesn’t lead to a social exclusion and the creation of an underclass of workers?

Discussion left open during lunch interval

13:30-16:00 CET

  • Most learning at work is informal – we learn from each other by observing, talking and trying out new skills. How can adult education engage with employers in order to validate such learning – making adults’ skills more visible without creating cumbersome qualification systems?
  • How can employers create cultures of learning in their workplaces that support their employees in responding to the demands placed on them and flourishing in their careers?
    • What incentives to learn can employers provide?
    • How can governments ensure that their adult learning policies are proactive, prevent skills deficits of those in employment, rather than just responding when people become unemployed?

We would love to hear about initiatives and projects that you have been involved in that support adults in learning for and at work.

You can also check out Simon Broek's blog post on the topic.

**The discussion is now live. Press the 'Refresh comments' button below to see the latest comments posted by the community.

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Displaying 11 - 20 of 141
Nora Bucher's picture
Regarding the question what goverments can do, I think it's  important that they do something before people even lose their jobs. They (or the companies) should encourage peoples strengths and make further education, training and learning in general more attractive. So that people can benefit form their acquired qualifations in their jobs. And if they lose their jobs, better trained employees might find faster a new one. But I guess, in the end it's all about money. Training and courses can be really expensive if the workes have to pay them by themselves and why do it, if you have no beneftis from it? Not a better job, not more money. Just because you might benefit from it someday? Goverments should fund adult education more and companies should appreciate and reward their employees more for trying to acquire new qualifiacations.      
David Mallows's picture
Simon Broek wrote about something similar in his blog. Adults often only engage when things are going well (promotion, new opportunities), or badly (unemployment) when what is also needed is ongoing training to keep skills up to date and to ensure that we remain open to new learning. But as you say Nora - it can be difficult to see the benefits when all is going well.
Pirmin Vlaho's picture
a common reaction of established structures is to improve the product even further: more training courses, more features, more efforts etc...but what has not solved certain problems until yet will not be solved by these same approaches...so I suspect that a solution must look different 
Lisa Duran's picture
The idea of creating a culture of learning in workplaces is on everyone's lips and in some companies (for examples for producation workers) difficult to implement - i think. But in this kind of process it's important to incorporate the employees and ask for their needs and ideas/suggestions. The implementation is more effective when both sides concur. Furthemore the company gets to know their employees and the employees can participate in processes of the company. The basis for the realisation is a good interaction and communication between both.
Gareth Hathway's picture
This is the role of a union learning rep. They are workplace advocates that colleagues can turn to if they want to update their skills. They set up a learning committee. Which will have the voice of the workforce and the voice of management where skills and potential learning opportunities can be discussed.  Like you say, going forward with all sides at the table is a lot more productive for staff and the organisation alike. 
Pirmin Vlaho's picture
i agree with you, it´s on everyone´s lips and it´s hard for companies to implement accordingly...middle level management has more to do with the fact that the sales figures are right...here adult education could help by decreasing work and costs and enabling employees to develop better without disturbing the actual tasks of the company...that sounds difficult, but i believe that with the help of creativity and innovation adult education can make a better contribution here...
David Mallows's picture
Listening to learners (or potential learners) is important in all forms of adult education and I quite agree that if employers want to create learning workplaces they should do so with a high level of involvement of their employees. 
Christine Bertram's picture
I agree... but there's also work to help middle management understand that learning will, in the long-run, help them hit their sales figures, as Primin says. There have been quite a few studies where investment in employee training contributed to cost reductions due to fewer accidents for instance (different field, but ultimately same outcome).
I think that understanding of the contribution is often lacking.
Irem Zararsiz's picture
Agree with you. Could you cite a study dealing with these points? 
Sarah Pelzmann's picture
In my opinion the national qualification frameworks are great to make education comparable. But I am asking myself, which ultimately dominates the design of the frame. Is the education judged exclusively on economic utility criteria? I think education is useful but it should not be reduced to considerations of utility. So the risk of qualification frameworks is that they are too focused on the needs of the economy and the job market and democratization and participation are paid too little attention. This could probably also have consequenzes for the general adult education.