Survey Project results related to HRD in Europe

EHRD Portal
Search EHRD

> Overview


Changing working life and training of older workers
Concept Trends Findings Practice Challenge
Synopsis WORKTOW was a multidisciplinary research project, with its main focus on learning among older (45+) workers in SMEs. The central theme of the project is concerned with job-related competence (defined broadly to involve knowledge, skills, learning, values, and attitudes), its maintenance and development, as well as formal and informal learning on-the-job. The project's starting point was the individual and organisational effects, needs and opportunities emanating from the intersection of two trends in society: the ageing of populations and changes in working life. These developments have made it necessary to revitalise the old idea of lifelong learning. There is a pressing need to develop systematic learning initiatives and interventions. On the one hand, occupational knowledge and skills acquired once in a life-time are not necessarily valid and sufficient over the course of a changing working life. On the other hand, training institutions are faced with demands to adjust and align their course provision and curricula with the competence needs and demands of working life. The main goal for the latter is to fill in the gap between formal training and competence needs in workplaces. Thus, there is also a need to understand more of how to ensure commensurability between job-related learning and training and the experience-based competence of mature workers and the needs of working life. As regards the latter, most arguments have been based on the deficit-assumption, which is also more broadly applied to defining older people in society. In line with this view the job competence of older workers is obsolete or 'lacking' and thus they are 'in need' of new skills and knowledge. Acknowledging the need for new learning, the project has, however, focused on examining the added value of mature competence in current working life (Tikkanen et al. 2001, pp.1, 2). 
Reference The conceptual basis of the investigation, related to the objectives and theoretical framework of the project, is further outlined in the final report (Tikkanen et al. 2001, pp. 1-34). 
See also project info on WORKTOW.
Descriptors D-CVT  D-LO  D-WBL  EP00      E13a
Top of the page
Editor: Sabine Manning  © WIFO