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ERIC Number: ED528682
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 44
Abstractor: ERIC
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-9219-5591-4
Reskilling for Encore Careers for (What Were Once) Retirement Years. Research Report
Figgis, Jane
National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER)
Encouraging older workers to stay in the workforce has become a policy priority, not least because the life expectancy of Australians has increased dramatically over the past several decades, effectively inserting a new stage in life, often called the "third age." This report explores the possibility of using that third age to embark on an "encore" career. The author describes the encore career concept and why it might be an attractive alternative to retirement or to continuing in the same job past the traditional age of retirement. Then, drawing on interviews with TAFE institutes and other registered training organisations, she discusses how the encore career concept might be enacted in Australia. Key findings include: (1) Encore careers are well established in the United States, where they have been defined as work with a social purpose in the second half of life. This study suggests that Australians have a consistent and clear view about the basic shape of an encore career. It would: (a) be flexible, in terms of time, and allow for a sense of autonomy; (b) start at or after the usual retirement age; (c) involve a serious time commitment but not necessarily financial remuneration; (d) take the person in fresh directions; and (2) The vocational education and training (VET) sector may have a role to play in providing training for encore careers but such training will be difficult to accommodate within the current funding arrangements. Despite an initial enthusiasm in TAFE institutes and other registered training organisations to develop programs that would help older Australians embark on encore careers, other priorities and a lack of resources meant that the idea generally has not been taken any further. Nevertheless, the author has given individuals something to think about, with her alternative to the standard rhetoric of keeping older workers in their current jobs longer. (Contains 2 footnotes.)
National Centre for Vocational Education Research Ltd. P.O. Box 8288, Stational Arcade, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia. Tel: +61-8-230-8400; Fax: +61-8-212-3436; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Australian Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
Authoring Institution: National Centre for Vocational Education Research
Identifiers - Location: Australia; United States