Working learners need the time, the funding, the confidence, and the resources to juggle education and training on top of their existing responsibilities. Integrated earning and learning makes advancement achievable by offering the opportunity to learn while on the job, not on top of the job.
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Life is a complex and dynamic balancing act made of family responsibilities, work, health, community, and more. For many adults, adding learning to their busy lives requires a commitment of money and time that leaves further education and upskilling simply out of reach.
Learners don’t have to choose between school and work. Education and training options are flexible and designed to fit with work and the rest of life. Funding options are available that allow learners to access education when they need it, and pay for that education as they are able.
The Climb Hire training program, which prepares learners for careers as Salesforce administrators, uses a pay-it-forward model that makes the program free for current students. Once grads secure a job with a good wage, they then invest back into the program to support the new cohort.
Work-based learning is most effective when students can immediately apply their new skills within the workplace. University of Cincinnati’s Co-op Program updates the internship and apprenticeship models by alternating traditional academic semesters with semesters spent working in a professional setting.
Modeling instructional practices on the way that learning is applied in the workplace can prepare students for the “real-world” problem-solving that occurs on the job. Through strategies such as interdisiplinary coursework and project-based learning, students learn to combine and deploy skills in new ways, just as they will be required to do in an ever-evolving future of work.
Although pre-pandemic worries about a talent shortage have become post-pandemic concerns over widespread economic disruption, the need to create an adaptive, resilient workforce is stronger than ever. When employers invest in training and upskilling for their current staff, they prepare their employees and organizations to thrive.