Lifelong learning

Living longer, learning longer: Experiences, perceptions and intentions regarding learning, education and training among older Australians

Increased life expectancy combined with recent changes to government policy (e.g. eligibility for the Age Pension increasing to age 67 by 2023) will require many people to work past the traditional retirement age of 65 to financially support themselves. Additionally, it is anticipated that Australia's ageing population will have a significant impact on the workforce participation rate; as the ageing population retire, labour shortages will emerge. Predicted labour shortages can be reduced by encouraging and supporting older workers to work for longer than they do now.

Older Australians go digital

Older Australians are embracing digital life with nearly four in five people (80 percent) aged 65 and over online, a new government report reveals.

That figure represents an upward trend, as four years ago only 65 per cent of older Australians were online.

The report Digital lives of older Australians, published by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), explores the extent of online engagement of Australians aged 65 plus.

Older workers can boost the economy

Harnessing the power of an older workforce could deliver gains of up to $78 billion for the Australian economy, a new report reveals.

According to the Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) report, if Australia’s employment rates for workers aged 55-plus were increased to those in Sweden (where 74% of those aged 55-64 are employed), Australia’s GDP could be around 4.7% higher.

Older women reading slightly more books

New figures out this week have shown that older women are bucking a trend towards reading fewer books.

Roy Morgan Research said a survey showed that women aged over 65 were reading around one per cent more novels and non-fiction books than they were back in 2010. But the results were not so good for younger groups.

While there was an increase in book reading among children aged 6-13, after the age of 14, there was a decline.

Thirst for learning explored in Queensland

Queensland seniors are being invited to an event where they can explore ways to enhance their lifelong interest in learning.

The Seniors as Lifelong Learners symposium is part of the QLD State Library’s 2016 Belonging initiative.

The free twilight symposium will be held on Wednesday 23 March from 5pm – 7:30pm at Auditorium 2, State Library of Queensland.

The purpose of the event is to encourage seniors to find out more about learning through life and into the post-retirement years as an essential way to maintain active minds and quality of life.

Fellowship for Qld women writers

Three female writers in Queensland could get a boost to their careers from a new fellowship set up to award each of them $500 towards course fees, travel, accommodation and other expenses.

The Maher Fellowship for Women Writers was established by the Vann family in memory of Queensland’s first woman publisher Margaret Maher and Betty Vann (née Maher) to acknowledge their love and support of writing.

Funding to help Qld seniors avoid elder abuse

The Queensland Government has promised $18.6 million in funding to help older people to stay active, improve their social lives and avoid social isolation and potential elder abuse.

Queensland Seniors Minister Coralee O’Rourke said 47 organisations would share the funding over three years.

It includes over $7.6 million for elder abuse services, nearly $8.6 million for social isolation services and around $2.4 million to prevent barriers to accessing services.

Mature age workers to get free career check-up

A free career advisory service helping mature workers plan for the next stage of their careers was launched this week.

The new pilot program, Skills Checkpoint Pilot, is targeted at mature workers aged 45 to 54 to help them take stock of their abilities and identify opportunities to gain new skills or employment.

The pilot will use selected Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) providers to deliver services to benefit around 2,000 employed people in certain states and territories.

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