VAM - Silver lining – a study of employability and learning trajectories of Late Career Learners

In this project, we intend to deepen our understanding of the relationships between lifelong learning and the employability of older adults.


By carrying out both quantitative and qualitative studies, we will seek to identify the forms and trajectories of learning that are most conducive to the employment of older adults and explore whether there are gaps or weaknesses in current national policies in this area. Better and more targeted measures addressing late career learners may increase their employability and their motivation to postpone retirement, and thereby contribute to more active aging and reduced public costs for pensions and health care.

The project is organised in five distinct, but related work packages (WPs). As we are attempting to establish links between different streams of research, we will carry out a systematic review of recent literature and policy measures in WP1. WP2 will analyse the relationship between lifelong learning and the continued participation of older Norwegian adults in employment. WP3 will analyse how the ability to remain in employment may be related to lifelong learning and skills among older adults. In WP4 we will study learning trajectories in the workplace and in WP5 we will engage external stakeholders and disseminate our findings in the form of academic publications and an ongoing dialogue with HR managers and those influencing policy on older employees.

WP1Systematic review of recent literature & policy measures. Leader: T. Midtsundstad (Fafo). Participants: All members of the project team.

WP2 - Lifelong learning & the continued participation of older Norwegian adults in employment. Leader: P. Børing (Nifu). Participants: T. Midtsundstad, R. A. Nielsen & J. B. Grøgaard.

WP3 - A comparative study of the capability of being employed, lifelong learning and skills. Leader: Richard Dejardins (UCLA) . Partcipants: P. Børing, R. A. Nielsen,T. Midtsundstad & J.B. Grøgaard.

WP4 - Learning trajactories in the workplace. Leader: Trine Deichman-Sørensen (HiOA). Participants: A. I. Hilsen, D. Sutherland Olsen, T. C. Carlsten + 1 Postdoc.

WP5 - Policy recommandations, dissemination & and stakeholder involvement. Leader: D. Sutherland Olsen (Nifu). Participants: All members of the project team.

Fafo-reports and papers

Fafo-rapport 2018:33
Anne Inga Hilsen

Fafo-rapport 2016:21
Anne Inga Hilsen

Project management

Tove Midtsundstad

Cooperating researchers

Dorothy Sutherland Olsen, Nifu (hovedprosjektleder) Pål Børing, Nifu Tone Cecilie Carlsten, Nifu Jens B. Grøgaard, Nifu og HBV Trine Deichmann-Sørensen, HiOA Richard Desjardins, UCLA Professor Anne Edwards, University of Oxford Professor David Guile, University College London

Commissioned by

Norwegian Research Council

Project period

January 2016
December 2021