Much is made of the importance of adults’ learning across their life span, particularly, for work-related purposes. This learning is now seen as being both important and urgent as the requirements for work constantly change and the need to be employable over a longer portion of adult life grow stronger. Often, addressing these learning needs is translated into provisions of lifelong education (i.e., courses, programs) that, indeed, play a significant role for many adults. However, the breadth of the heterogeneity of the working age adult population in terms of their readiness, interest, ability to access education and work activities and purposes for participating in working life and educational provisions means that supporting lifelong learning is of necessity and likely to be of diverse kinds and realised in diverse ways. Indeed, much, if not most, of the learning across adults’ working life often occurs outside of intentional educational provisions (i.e. lifelong education) and through everyday work activities (OECD 2013). However, these different kinds of educational experiences are likely to be particularly helpful when adults are making transitions to different kinds of work, workplaces and confronting significant worklife challenges. Therefore, it is important to understand how that learning arises and how it can be supported, guided and augmented by educational provisions cast broadly and other forms of support.
This bulletin attached here presents the research questions, provides an overview of the processes and refers to some preliminary findings from the first phase of a project – Practices and policies for sustaining employability through work-life learning – funded by the Australian Research Council (DP 190101519). The project aims to generate evidence-based policies and informed practices supporting work-life learning arrangements to promote Australian workers’ employability. These are urgent needs in the era of the corona virus.