This is going to be a short article as I look forward to paying off some sleep debt.
Once of our upcoming talks in August was supposed to be lifelong learning but for very valid reasons, it did not pan out, so we will probably be going ahead with something else later this year.
I've done some preliminary readings on lifelong learning for my own benefit and discovered this insight about lifelong learning which is not shared public about - you need some degree of career mobility to benefit from lifelong learning.
For lifelong learning to really benefit a worker, he needs to be able to effect a change in his/her work environment to exploit his new skills. At the personal level, I was somewhat a negative example of this insight. After getting a Masters in Applied Finance and passing all my CFA exams, my IT career was doing rather well and I never really did make the switch into a finance role. I do not have much regrets because I was able to derive an alternative income by building my own portfolio.
A lot of other workers are not so lucky. If you are over your 40s and struggling to pick up some new qualifications note that the research shows that the odds of you being able to exploit your newfound learning is limited. To test out your new skills, you might have to jump ship but the career mobility of a 40-something worker is somewhat limited so the odds of increasing your income from lifelong learning is also limited. The research paper has recommended that the government make it their role to provide career mobility for middle-aged lifelong learners.
So the modern worker must begin lifelong learning at a younger age and not wait for too long to begin developing cutting edge skills which are suited for tomorrow's corporate environment.
Which leads to another problem - You need to make time to pick up new skills !
Workers of the future may need to look for corporate cultures which release them from work on time so that they can invest in their own human capital by picking up new skills and keeping up with the industry. Otherwise, workers will become sitting ducks while being employed and may even waste too much of their own time developing non-transferable skills that can only be used in one corporate setting. It only takes the next technological change to render them obsolete.
In this aspect, multinationals continue to be attractive relative to SMEs.
Multinationals are also more exclusive and can afford to be selective based on paper qualifications.
At the end of the day, you can't really blame local graduates for only wanting to work for the biggest and most elite international firms.
Its a valid survival strategy.