ADULT EDUCAT ION
“Adult learning is a dynamic process that has evolved from being a tick-box exercise to embracing a huge range of topics”
Workplaces are changing at an incredible pace and our area already has substantial issues with recruitment, with a worrying skills gap forecast to become even wider in the next few years. It’s complicated by the fact that as businesses change in future years, the way our working lives pan out is likely to be similarly radically re-shaped. Instead of working for just one or two organisations during their lives, people are likely to be employed until much later in life, and embark on at least one new career – and possibly several more than that – before they reach retirement age. It’s tricky enough for someone in their 20s to work out what’s likely to impress the boss now, let alone the qualities that might float their boat 30 years on. Do you focus on people skills or problem solving, opt to become trouble shooter or a technical guru? According to one analysis of up-and- coming US-based job specialisms for 2020, a growing number of job titles feature words like technician, scientist or engineer.
overcome stress. Techniques for coping can range from having a quiet space or a coach to talk to, to not catastrophising issues and avoiding the all-too-common reaction of thinking of yourself as a failure when you’ve made a mistake. Adult learning, within the workplace and out of it, is a dynamic process that has evolved from being a tick-box exercise to embracing a huge range of topics, formats and skills. Thinking more creatively, developing resilience or developing leadership skills – all predicted to be in greater demand in the future – can be a life- affirming experience that gives individuals a new sense of purpose and potentially benefit us all.
For those in doubt, developing creative talents could be the way to go. Creativity is increasingly seen as having a vital role and not just in obvious areas – art, music or writing. It can also add a new dimension to science and technology, for example. Learning providers here have been quick to develop courses that meet the need for a more personalised, imaginative approach to education. Learners can explore the way that creativity can help businesses work better by rethinking the way we define, approach and address problems. Instead of seeing failure as terrifying, it becomes part of the creative process. There’s also a growing emphasis on helping people develop greater resilience to
CAMBRIDGE EDUCATION GUIDE
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