The L&D Forum

An article in The Economist by Andrew Palmer last week claims ‘Lifelong learning is becoming an economic imperative’. Palmer advocates that in our ever changing technological world we need much stronger links between education and employment, and that this learning link needs to be refreshed and ‘rebooted’ continually. 

Where in the past a university degree or professional qualification was all we needed to step into our chosen careers, today this is simply not enough. Of course there will remain a need for formal, professional qualifications; these are often the precursor for securing a role, but as the environment in which we live and work evolves, with many of our jobs becoming ‘hybrid roles’, so our knowledge and skills must grow; our ‘baseline’ learning needs to be continually topped up, diverted, substituted, broadened, stimulated, and expanded. 

So we get why… the question is how?

The great news is there are all sorts of free opportunities, sources and methods available to us, there is learning everywhere – and as a lifelong learner, each and every nugget of learning has the potential to give us growth, development and insight.  And by developing our mind-set, ‘noticing’ the learning, and then interacting with that learning, those nuggets have the power to give us so much more.

Why not start or continue on your lifelong learning journey right now by adding your comments on lifelong learning or you could respond to one (or all) of the questions below.  Let’s get this discussion going!

And if you are reading this and hesitating to comment, be brave...

Read this post by DPG’s Mike Collins on ‘What makes a lifelong learner’ and as Mike states: ‘You can lurk and consume content to your hearts content but if you don’t give back the job is only half done.  Lifelong learning is a two-way process…’

  • Do you consider yourself as a life-long learner?
  • What do you think are the top 3 attributes of a lifelong learner and why?
  • What methods, sources and opportunities can you use?
  • How can our community help you develop as a lifelong learner?
  • What does (or could) your organisation contribute towards developing its people as lifelong learners?

I really look forward to hearing from you.

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  • Lifelong learning is definitely a hot topic right now, see this great post below.  I will continue to post any other useful content about lifelong learning I come across here, it would be great if you could do the same.

    Lifelong learning is good for your health/wallet/social life

  • Hi Kathryn. A great post. Love this sort of stuff. #LOVECPD in fact!

    Some good questions too. I could dive into them all, but for now, will just pick out the three attributes one. Two of these I feel are already written. What Mike says I totally agree with. Consuming and sharing seem to be at the heart of CPD. Whether it's taking stuff, then passing it forward to others, or giving stuff and then getting something back, some feedback, added value, dialogue and discussion, it all seems to be give and take that makes this life-long learning work at its best.

    The third attribute that I think is a necessity is being disciplined and organised enough to build in time to do it. It's all very easy to get swallowed up in the hustle and bustles and neglect time to develop yourself. That's a big one for me. Scheduling some time to read, listen, write, talk, reflect, whatever it might be. It could be a case of blocking some time out in your diary or it could be fitting this in to whatever you do. You can get really smart with this. One of my favourite times to listen to stuff is whilst I'm out walking the dog. One of my favourite times for reading is whilst I'm waiting for her daughter to finish a club that she attends. It's too far to drop her off, drive back to then go and pick her up, so that time is often used to read.

    So I think there's my three attributes of a life long learner. Someone who consumes, shares and makes time to do both.

    Great post. Looking forward to hearing more from others too.

    • Thanks Ady.  The time factor really resonates with me - and is something I am currently factoring into my week, and like many things I need to keep doing it until it becomes a good habit.

      I admit in the past to being a 100% consumer rather than sharer but am determined to be brave and become a lifelong learner in its truest sense. I hope my honesty will help others rise to the challenge with me, and make that time to share as well as consume...

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