This concluding chapter summarises key reflections, empirical findings and thought leadership, making recommendations for future policy and practice for older workers and workplaces across a number of disciplinary areas. Older workers’ learning is complex, multilayered and interdisciplinary theories help make sense of the field under study.
The central proposition of this book is that achieving human flourishing and potential is not the singular premise of younger workers; older workers have a legitimate claim to learning as vessels of untapped potential. How older workers might be drawn into the lifeworld of contemporary and future workplaces, challenging restrictions of modernity and alienation, through engagement in dialogue via ideal speech situations (ISS) (Habermas 1987), to achieve flourishing through enabling structures and processes has been presented. The physical and psychological effects of staying on in work are considered.
This has led to a re-imagining of older workers’ learning possibilities when their contribution is not always valued. However, education forms part of the politics of learning as an economic driver of a country’s progress. As lifelong learning is only viewed for the proposes of the economy we should be mindful of what Biesta calls the “politics of learning” and that it is still an individual choice whether we learn or not (Biesta 2018:256).