Long-life learning is about anticipating that we will all need to navigate a longer, more turbulent work life. If early baby boomers are already experiencing 12 job changes by the time they retire, we may have to prepare for 20 or 30 job transitions in the future.
Long-life learning isn’t about education for “those people over there.” The future of workers is about us. To stay competitive in the workforce, we’ll all need to think of ourselves as working learners, always flexing between working and learning or juggling both at the same time. We are the ones who will be affected, and so we must get to the business of building the infrastructure for us to harness the power of education over and over again throughout a longer work life.
We need to design a new learning ecosystem that is fundamentally more navigable, supportive, targeted, integrated, and transparent.
- Navigable. Job seekers don’t have the technologies and tools they need to analyze their talents, bring them to the surface, and assess their skill gaps. They want information about how to choose the right career pathways—the type real-time labor market information and consumer reviews provide. They need a bird’s-eye view of the current and future job market, including all of the career pathways open to them based on their interests, skills, past training, and experiences. Navigation will give adults better information to guide them through complex systems, and better assessments to help them make sense of their skills and experience and figure out how to translate and transfer their capabilities into better jobs.
- Supportive. Job seekers want guidance on which pathways will be most effective, targeted, and affordable in helping them grow and thrive in the labor market. To stay focused on their education and career goals, learners need comprehensive wraparound supports, be they person-to-person or tech-enabled, to help them overcome hurdles and manage multiple commitments and competing priorities. Better support services will foster the success of all working learners, from the beginning of their explorations all the way through their new working lives and subsequent career transitions.
- Targeted. Job seekers need access to a precise and relevant education tailored to their needs: the right skills, the right pathways, at the right time.They also need to know that the education they choose will be worth the investment—and clearly signal value to a prospective employer. More precise or targeted learning experiences must provide not only the knowledge but also the human and technical skills, professional networks, and hands-on practice that equip learners to be ready to work.
- Integrated. Working learners need the time, the funding, the confidence, and the resources to integrate education and training with their existing responsibilities. A new learning ecosystem will reduce education friction and make advancement achievable by offering better funding options, new opportunities to learn while earning, or in the flow of work.
- Transparent. The hiring process must be transparent, open, and fair—and enable job seekers to prove their competence and skills.When skills become the primary currency of the job market, employers will be able to access a more diverse pool of qualified candidates who have proved they have what it takes for the work ahead.
123abc is dedicated to playing its role in creating a new ecosystem there supports lifelong learning and fair and transparent matching of talent to opportunities by creating the open Human Cloud Network.
source: Dr. Michelle R. Weise