Today’s workplace is characterised by rapid change.
Consequently, both employers and employees must be committed to lifelong learning.
In particular, mature age employees who have been working in jobs that typically require high levels of physical exertion, can be re-trained in order to enter sectors with less physical demand. Lifelong learning means continuous up-skilling, where human capital can now be measured and managed as an asset with increasing value over time.
Key considerations for providing training and lifelong learning
Good age management policy regarding training and lifelong learning should include consideration of:
- Ensuring staff of all ages have access to in-house learning and training opportunities
- Providing time off to staff in order to enable their attendance of training and also to catch up on work when they return
- Understanding the learning difficulties facing some mature age workers and demonstrating how existing skills can be valid and transferable
- Collaborating with mature age workers to empower them and help them realise they are agents of change
- Identifying and addressing skills gaps amongst mature age staff
- providing training opportunities to maintain and upgrade mature age workers’ technical skills such as IT skills
- Encouraging and building confidence of mature age workers regarding their ability to undertake training
- Emphasising the importance and value of undertaking further training
- Conducting skills evaluation
- Carrying out continual and systematic monitoring and evaluation of training opportunities
- Taking remedial action where necessary
Common training and delivery methods for mature age learners
Tips for training methods which have been found to suit some mature age learners include:
- Involve experiential learning
- Provide training in familiar environments
- Combine both in-class and on-the-job informal training
- Allow learning to be self-paced
- Tailor training delivery methods to suit preferred learning needs and styles
- Be as practical and hands on as possible
- Allow extra time for learners who are experiencing difficulty keeping up
- Ensure there is no direct comparison with young people
- Work in pairs or groups
- Promote and encourage peer support
- Introduce training that assists communication, negotiation, conflict management, collaboration and cooperation
- Offer a variety of training options
- Consult with training organisations that specialise in programs for mature age workers
- Recognition of Prior Learning can allow a person to receive recognition and credit for the knowledge and skills they have, no matter how and where these were attained.
For a full list of resources on information and services related to training and lifelong learning, click here.