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“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks!” 

How many of us hear it from people around us !

Classic examples of above idiom - Computers to old people, internet surfing, digging out information from internet, new age ways of working, travel and bookings.

A great quote from Henry Ford (the founder of the Ford Motor Company) is, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether 20 or 80.” 

There is an unfortunate tendency to confuse ‘Learning’ with ‘Schooling’.

Even when this is not the case, we sometimes suffer from the peculiar debilitating tendency to wish to ‘cut people to size’, the so called ‘tall poppy syndrome’. In this case, people who voluntarily seek to better themselves through education, training, or self – directed learning are often undermined by colleagues, friends, and family – the very people who whose support and encouragement they most need.

 

Evolution of a Learner

 

Why is it necessary to motivate people to “keep learning”?

  • Because people will only plan for consistent learning activities through their lifetime if they desire.
  • They would not want to take up learning exercises in which their very roots are laughed at or demeaned in some way !
  • Lastly they would want to invest in time, effort and money only in those skills and expertise which is recognized tangibly !

Hence essential to raise the demand for learning as well as its supply.

People across all spectrums encouraged to follow open learning pathways, make choices, pick their learning destinations, so and forth !

But all this is easier said than done, there may be many barriers such as :

  • Physical barriers – work, family, childcare responsibilities
  • Attitudinal barriers – Low confidence, self esteem, aspiration, societal pressure, age factor
  • Structural barriers – infrastructural support for aiding learning

Lifelong Learning and the Future of Work

Job opportunities continue to grow in emerging spaces such as virtual reality, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and autonomous vehicles. At the same time, existing roles in fields from healthcare to finance are changing dramatically as new tools and technologies are adopted. The concept of lifelong learning is accordingly transforming from a discretionary aspiration to a career necessity. No longer is it a supplemental luxury to learn new skills, and no longer is learning new skills something you do only when you’re pursuing a significant career change. Being relevant, competitive, and in-demand in today’s fast-moving world requires an ongoing commitment to lifelong learning regardless of your role or career path.

Going forward, we’ll need a generation of workers who are hungry to learn and eager to keep pace with the times. They will pioneer new ways of combining business and technology to be more productive, and they’ll update old work models to match. Organizations across industries will look for curious, flexible, data-driven minds in both blue collar and white collar jobs. They’ll want people with the proven ability to keep learning and stay relevant in their field of expertise; people who actively pursue opportunities where their transferable skills might be applicable.

The need to retool

Innovative ways of solutioning, re-thinking, approaching the problem from different perspective, mapping options, retooling has evolved big time !

The future of work

A 2016 report issued by the World Economic Forum entitled Future Workforce Strategy offers detailed insights on all the issues discussed herein, and the report is highly recommended of particular interest are what the report terms as areas for “Longer Term Focus.”

Rethinking education systems

“Businesses should work closely with governments, education providers and others to imagine what a true 21st century curriculum might look like.”

Incentivizing lifelong learning

“Simply reforming current education systems to better equip today’s students to meet future skills requirements—as worthwhile and daunting as that task is—is not going to be enough to remain competitive.”

Cross-industry and public-private collaboration

“Businesses should work with industry partners to develop a clearer view on future skills and employment needs, pooling resources where appropriate to maximize benefits … Such multi-sector partnerships and collaboration, when they leverage the expertise of each partner in a complementary manner, are indispensable components of implementing scalable solutions to jobs and skills challenges.”

At Employwise, our compact, flexible, and economical offerings are expressly built to make lifelong learning possible for all who commit to pursuing it.

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