Mature-aged workers' learning needs and motivations for participation in training programs


Issues arising from an ageing society, a low fertility rate and growing need for a skilled work force have seen increased government commitment to improving the participation rate of mature-aged workers. Education and training are seen as a principal strategy to increase the employability of these workers, yet participation in training is low and declines with age.

Based on a study of 8 mature-aged participants enrolled in an accredited training program, this paper focuses on their learning needs and motivations. The findings identify a range of institutional and personal factors that shaped their participation. Given the diversity of personal factors highlighted within this small sample, it is unlikely that creating one policy or training approach would address the education and training needs of this cohort. Hence, there is a need to understand more fully how the diverse needs of mature-aged workers can be accommodated within the vocational education and training system.


Rebecca Meyers
Faculty of Education, Griffith University, Mt Gravatt QLD

Stephen Billett
Adult and Vocational Education, School of Education and Professional Studies, Faculty of Education, Griffith University, Mt Gravatt QLD

Ann Kelly
Faculty of Education, Griffith University, Mt Gravatt QLD


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mature-aged workers; employability; training programs; institutional factors; personal factors; vocational education and training


PP: 116 - 127

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