Module 1: planning for learning at work: learner's workbook

2.1 Adapting to change

Page last updated: 2004

As a frontline worker working with young people, there is an expectation that you have a level of knowledge, skill and confidence based on your position and area of expertise. However, we know that working with young people can be as demanding and overwhelming as it can be stimulating and rewarding.

For example, a proportion of the young people that you work with may experience alcohol and other drug problems. The alcohol and drug field has undergone major changes in recent years. The range of substances available as well as the range of treatment and intervention approaches has changed and expanded dramatically. The issues that young people are facing are complex and ever changing. So how do we manage to keep abreast of this in our work?

Clearly, there is a need for a skilled and responsive workforce who can keep up to date with new information and ideas. Change is constant in every aspect of our work. We live in times of unprecedented technological and social change that has profound implications for us in our workplace and working lives.

There is a need for both individuals and organisations to engage in continuous adaptation, enhancement and innovation. So, how do we manage ongoing change and the associated demands?

Task - writing exercise

Question - What are some of the general qualities and skills that you think people need in today's rapidly growing workforce (e.g. an ability to use initiative and make decisions?)

Answer - (Write your answer, then check the 'Possible answers' page.)

However, a key concept that underpins such abilities is the capacity for ongoing learning or continuous learning. The notion of continuous or lifelong learning is an important concept so let's explore this in more detail.