Lifelong Learning as a Life-Large and Life-Deep Reality

Authored by: Paul Bélanger

The Routledge Companion to Human Resource Development

Print publication date:  October  2014
Online publication date:  September  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415820424
eBook ISBN: 9780203386446
Adobe ISBN: 9781136727061


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The world of work is undergoing a transformation that can be seen not only in the places where goods and services are actually produced, but also in the career paths that people follow and steer. Changes in production methods and technologies and the globalization of the economy are altering both the individual’s relationship to work and the individual’s life course. Major debates are also going on about the economic demand for greater flexibility and about how work should be organized. Keeping the same job for life is becoming more difficult. How then can we ensure that individuals, in spite of job mobility, could exercise their right to work? And if jobs cease to be permanent, then shouldn’t adult learning and education become a continuing component of people’s biography? In some European countries, there is talk of “flexicurity” policy—not external flexibility based on deregulation, but internal flexibility based on continuously enhancing the qualifications and versatility of the active population and implementing programs to achieve these goals (Rubenson 2009, 2006).

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