Lifelong learning is the “ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated” pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional.
Why is it important?
We are living longer. Most people will have many jobs in several sectors over a lifetime. The training and education you started with is unlikely to be sufficient over your career.
Modern workplaces are complex and dynamic. Formal qualifications are only one way employers identify desirable staff. Knowledge gained from experience, as well as skills, self-taught or learned along the way, greatly benefit businesses.
Being proactive about gaining new skills communicates to potential employers a desire to grow on a professional level. This desire is unlikely to abate once an employee is hired especially if further learning could bring further advancement. For the employer this means employees who are effective now will become more so as they continue lifelong learning.
In almost half of UK employers surveyed reported that they were having difficulties meeting customer service objectives and were losing business because staff did not have the skills they needed.(Foresight-future-of-skills-lifelong-learning)
There is an obvious advantage keeping your skills current and in step with what customers want. The problem is that same report said that “time lags between identification of market needs and gearing providers to adapt, exacerbated by rapid technological change” mean that the current educational system can’t keep up with the lifelong learning needs of workers.
It is up to you to keep yourself skilled and up to date.
Next time I will write more about ways you might do this.