Low level of education is one of the main factors that leads to unemployment and increases the risk of disability or health loss among the elderly (Richert- Kaźmierska, Forkiewicz, 2013). Education helps people to adapt to changing living conditions at each stage of life and improves the quality of life. For the elderly, the education is also a way to level stereotypes about old age and social marginalization. Furthermore, it positively affects one’s self-esteem and gives opportunities to establish social contacts.
Learning allows the elderly to maintain their mental, physical and social efficiency (Szczurek, 2013). It also helps them to adapt to organisational and technological changes, update their skills (Vianen, Dalhoeven, Pater, 2011, Picchio, 2015) and increase their ability to work (Froehlich et al., 2014).
Research conducted at CIOP-PIB in 2017-2018 showed that workers aged 50 and over (N=544) believed that learning was essential in all age groups (89,9%). Only 10.8% of respondents believed that even if older individuals took part in training, they would not find it as effective as younger individuals, and 8.3% believed that learning was only for the young. Slightly more than half of the respondents (50.6%) wanted to participate in the training in order to acquire new skills. On the other hand, every third respondent (33%) wanted to take part in the training for financial reasons, and slightly fewer (27.2%) wanted to pursue their interests.
Older workers pointed out that they had the same access to resources and information as younger workers. A slightly lower percentage of respondents indicated, however, that they had equal access to training and courses. The research also showed that workplace is not a friendly environment where older workers could learn and develop their skills.
When asked about their preferences for training topics, the respondents answered that they were interested in vocational courses (35.7%) or computer courses (27.4%). More than half of the respondents (64.8%) who participated in the training strongly agreed or agreed that the training allowed them to improve their way of working; 58.7% strongly agreed or agreed that the training made their work more secure, 47.7% strongly agreed or agreed that the training improved their chances for employment in the future.