Being classed as an “older worker” these days, and at the same job for thirty years, makes the all familiar statement, “You must be getting ready to retire soon,” annoying. I am 54 years young and a part time student in the Adult Learning Program at NSCC, Pictou Campus. It is a refreshing and self rewarding experience. Learning a new set of skills and carrying on life long learning is a great way to reintroduce one’s self to the job market. We older workers have much to offer potential employers, such as life experience and work experience. This makes for great flexibility in an employee for those employers who require this.
I am often referred to as a “Baby Boomer.” When you hear this term, the next thoughts are about the aging workforce and retirement. About eighty-five to ninety percent of the workforce my age are not ready to retire, and like myself, are hoping for something new. I am referring to meaningful work that offers an opportunity to show potential employers there is much older workers and ALP graduates have to offer. I don’t speak for all adult learners but I suspect those that attend any Adult Learning Program, do so because there is a desire to learn new skills. We, as ALP students, are encouraged to take that second kick at the can, so to speak. Just being in a learning environment where teachers always have the time to offer advice and direction, is important and necessary for life long learning to be effective.
The teachers are the heroes of this story as well as the students themselves, because without the teachers’ and their dedication to Adult Learning, we would become discouraged. It doesn’t matter whether you’re out of school for one year or thirty years. What is important is the desire to carry on and pursue learning. This has many benefits, including setting examples for our children and grandchildren. Future employers of those graduating from the ALP program can be assured that there is a level of integrity that would prove to be an asset for any company offering things like: on the job training or apprenticeship programs.
Employers of Nova Scotia will hopefully get on board with the idea that older workers and ALP graduates offer old fashioned work ethics and can make for great employees. It is unfortunate that so many of our young people are travelling to the western provinces but ALP graduates from NSCC, will offer a pool of workers to choose from that is second to none. It is not easy these days for some of us to be competitive in the workforce and compete for jobs. Being twenty years old or sixty years old, learning has no boundaries and the only requirement is the desire to learn. The task of learning has no age restrictions and knowledge is not heavy to carry around.