Learning is Life Long.
History illustrates that where education falls behind the pace of technological change, workers become idle.
Once education catches up, prosperity follows.
The problem is that the life long learning necessary to keep up (or ideally out pace) technology favours those who are either young or already educated. It also tends to favour those who have general rather than specific skills.
Although there is a current reaction against globalisation and migration, which tends to exacerbate the woes of the middle aged specialist worker, it is unlikely to be halted. The world is simply smaller now and will become even more integrated, eventually.
Change will happen and it may be difficult. The career/job for life no longer exists. And more and more people are becoming self-employed, either as specialist or generalists through the so called ‘gig’ economy.
These workers are de facto taking responsibility for themselves and will need to know how to and what to develop competences in. This is even more important for them now, given that working lives are getting longer and time to market for technological innovations shorter.
The ‘Seven Ages of Man’ may need revision. Those of us moving from six to seven may need to put our grumpiness on hold and adapt. Those in five or six may need to learn responsive learning patterns.
Those new ways will include developing resilience to change and the emotional intelligence to keep being flexible, learning and risking try new ways to contribute. I have no doubt we will want to do so with organisations that take us empathetically in mind.
We need a real, inclusive Community College for Careers and Commerce for ‘5th ages giggers and beyond!’