Jeff Johnson: Lifelong learning isn’t just an interesting phrase – it’s a new reality

Graduating from high school, even graduating from a bachelor’s degree program, is no longer the end point of anything. In fact, this is just the beginning of the graduate drowning into a world of continuous learning of “new things”.

With fast-changing technology and the speed with which organizations need to be competitive, it is clear that lifelong learning is important for those who want to stay relevant in the workplace and the job market, given that many skills remain shorter and shorter. .

A recent IBM report predicts that many current employees will need “high skills” or “re-skills” in the next three years, and says the average duration of training needed to overcome skills shortages in the past three days to Increased by 36 days. five years.

The implications for public education are clear: Although “lifelong learning” is a common expression in the mission statement of education at all levels, how to determine if graduates have actually become lifelong learners is not far off.

As of 2020 Forbes the report notes that “the search for evidence of a lifetime study is little like the search for evidence of life on Mars; many scientists believe we will eventually find it, but so far we have not found it. ”

Can “lifelong learning” be taught even as an attitude before graduating from high school? The same Forbes the report suggests that this is a nonsensical question because it happens to most people. “Lifelong learning is entrusted to us as an integral part of daily life,” the report said.

In 2020, according to Canadian statistics, there were approximately 14.8 million people aged 15 and older in Canada working on a full-time basis. About four out of 10 (43 percent) Canadian job seekers said they are likely to look for a new job next year, according to a new survey conducted by Ipsos for Randstad Canada.

“Research shows us that a large number of employees do not want to be dependent on their current job. [and] They are looking for new opportunities to see if the grass is greener in other organizations, ”said Patrick Pauline of Randstad, Canada.

It is up to employers to understand the growing importance of on-the-job training and workforce development to retain and prepare workers for both jobs.

Another common model of “pre-employment” education, where training is done before entering the job market, will no longer be a guarantee of career success.

Instead, employees who are already in the workforce need to adapt to their individual training systems, which support them at different stages of the career. These individualized training methods should also be easily accessible where and when needed throughout the career.

Career-based learning should be more flexible than traditional classroom learning. It has multiple entry and exit points based on a long-term approach to acquiring work skills, rather than a formal data package based on what a particular postgraduate school offers.

Lifelong learning systems require new pedagogical models, such as short-term or modular programs, stackable certificates (different diplomas and certificates, and sometimes additional academic degrees that are taken at the same time), a modified and adaptable curriculum. greater use of independent and online learning.

As organizations improve their methodologies for measuring and tracking work skills, the academic genre of education will be less important.

As Janice Burns, chief “folk” specialist at Degreed Educational Technology, argues: “It’s no longer about who you know and what you know, but what you can do.”

Degreed has offices in the US, London, Australia and the Netherlands, announcing itself as a “professional development platform that combines training, talent development and internal mobile capabilities in one place”.

Prospective organizations that want to develop existing staff are already engaged in a range of practices, including coaching and mentoring, and sometimes use experienced leaders to train young staff.

Other employee development practices include job rotation, in which the movement of employees from one job to another involves them understanding different tasks and processes in the organization.

Each of these processes involves a new wave of learning. As a result, lifelong learning is now not only an interesting phrase in the brochure, but also an indispensable addition to every working day.

gfjohnson4@shaw.ca

Jeff Johnson is a former school principal.

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