This chapter, Part 1 of two related chapters (Chapter 4 being Part 2), explores research findings conducted in one UK-based higher education (HE) setting using a mixed methods approach of surveys and staff interviews, focused on those in a wide range of professional and administrative roles and centred on older workers’ development and learning. Follow up in-depth interviews with staff and senior management, holding strategic roles, was conducted.
The major themes from the findings concern organisational models and planning for learning and development, the value placed on older workers, recognition of transitions, discrimination, perceptions and labelling, diversity, the vulnerability of older workers, possibilities for mobility and career pathways, the role of intergenerational dialogue, knowledge sharing, collaboration and holistic aspects of well-being for learning.
The findings illuminate the workscape for older workers in a contemporary setting, which can be applied to other settings. Obtaining an answer through the research means uncovering what learning older workers value, what learning employers value and how any differing views on what should be offered are reconciled between these two groupings, in a pragmatic higher education workplace study.