Older Workforces : Re-imagining Later Life Learning book cover
1st Edition

Older Workforces
Re-imagining Later Life Learning

ISBN 9780367662103
Published September 30, 2020 by Routledge
166 Pages

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Book Description

We are all going to become old. Many countries are ageing demographically with ageing workforces. Despite anti-discrimination and equality laws, older workers are routinely left out from learning opportunities even unconsciously so, suffer stereotyping or they simply do not participate. Why is this so? This book looks to understand the background to this and re-imagine older workplaces to capitalise on older workers.

The author explores what learning and development offers a best fit for older workforces through literature, research and case studies with organisations and individuals. She considers how an organisation might shift its strategic processes to offer a holistic workforce opportunity of value to both employee and employer, as it is cognitive skills that will be needed in future workforces.

Emphasising the area of work agency and the human right to learning, this book turns ageing and learning in workplaces on its head, seeing older workers as vessels of untapped potential. It re-imagines their possibilities in a time of intense demographic and digital change. This book will be a pragmatic guide to academics, researchers and practitioners in the fields of workplace learning, human resource development, social policy and diversity.

Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Abbreviations

1. Introduction
2. Later life learning and development of older workers
3. Learning in a higher education workplace
4. Organisational considerations
5. Case studies for learning and development
6. The future of work
7. Exploring strategic implications
8. Reflections and Recommendations


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Domini Bingham is Lecturer in Educational Leadership at the Institute of Education, UCL, United Kingdom. She leads on several modules of the MBA (Educational Leadership), MA Leadership and MA AELM (Masters in Applied Educational Leadership and Management). She researches in the areas of ageing, older workplaces, leading for wellbeing, workplace learning and citizenship in schools. She is a former adult teacher with a wider professional background in international development, the media and marketing. She has previously worked at the Commonwealth Secretariat and as Deputy Literary Editor of The Mail on Sunday, in the film industry and in public relations. She is a Chartered Marketer and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and a Teaching Fellow, Advance HE.


"Domini Bingham’s book ‘Older Workforces: Re-imagining Later Life Learning’ creatively challenges received wisdom about the management of older adults in the workforce. Deficit-based approaches start with an assumption that older workers capabilities atrophy or become out of date. Consequently, human resource interventions often focus on skills updating or capability management approaches, alongside the use of counselling as covert means of encouraging retirement. Few organisations examine how far their working practices might be part of the problem rather in its solution, and even fewer question the stereotypical assumptions that are made about older workers and their suitability for advancement or enhanced roles. Domini Bingham’s book switches the focus from deficits and problems to view older workers as assets and holders of untapped potential. Finding ways in which older workers can flourish through learning and development requires us to reimagine workplaces as environments that can capitalise on older workers’ possibilities at a time of profound changes in work organisation associated with digitisation.

The central propositions of this book have been developed though a deeply reflective approach to evidence gathered through the author’s doctoral research, subsequently expanded through further research in a wider range of private and public sector organisations. The argument extends into future workforces as well as strategic implications, featuring innovative thinking about human flourishing, intergenerational and intragenerational learning. Beyond shifts in strategic processes in organisations, the book calls for a societal change in how we view older people and how older people refer to themselves. The take-up of these ideas beyond the academy and internationally is indicative of the power of the author’s approach to explain, engage and influence. The book represents thought leadership in action, and I commend it to all those interested in human