Thursday, February 26, 2015

AARP Public Policy Institute Issues Report on Skills Training and Education for Older Workers

The AARP Public Policy Institute has issued a report written by Carl Van Horn, Kathy Krepcio and Maria Heidkamp of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, which explores a range of issues relating to skills training and education for older workers, including the challenges older workers face when deciding whether to enroll in education and training programs, and, if so, how to choose a program and pay for it. "Improving Education and Training for Older Workers" make several recommendations based on its findings related to the vast array of education and training options available to older workers, as well as education and training financing options available to them.

Among other things, the report found that:
  • Many older unemployed workers lack the skills that are currently in demand.
  • Many older job seekers are not well informed about the skills they will need to
    obtain a job or the best and most cost-effective way to obtain them.
  • Many federal and state workforce programs are not targeted to the needs of adult and working learners.
The report's recommendations include:
  • Government policy makers should insist on greater transparency from training providers and require them to report on the cost, duration, completion rates, and employment and earnings outcomes.
  • Congress should reform financial aid programs to better assist older workers, including requiring educational institutions to improve financial aid counseling for adult learners from qualified, independent third parties.
  • The tax system could be reformed to provide more financial support for older workers, such as expanding tax credits and deductions for education-related expenses such as transportation, childcare, and elder care.
Source: AARP Public Policy Institute News Release (February 25, 2015)

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