Nowadays general way of thinking about bright future (good job) and sometimes government policies and employability forced people to follow the lifelong learning philosophy and self-motivated pursuit of acquiring the knowledge, but I can not completely agree with that. The main factor would be the nowadays economy, or rather its constant fact of changing/evolving. Improving competitiveness, technological progress, demographic changes, enhancing social inclusion and much more, are the determinants of people flexibility.
There are two “directions” on which flexibility would follow : its either caused by competitiveness or insecurity. Both are related to each other, but they are concern to two totally different types of situations and people. When it comes to competitiveness, flexibility is a necessary feature of progressive changes. If we concern it in “lifelong learning” aspect, its rather up-skilling and multi-skilling than down-skilling. The insecure affability, on the other hand, is more common for people who are working in part-time jobs, are temporary employed or even unemployed. The future for them is more insecure and most people in that group don’t see a reason to live in lifelong learning way. For example: the shop assistant working during summer just to get some money will not see any purpose to become a manager or team leader, just because the only reason he/she is working is money and the specified period of time.
Despite of several training programs according to “lifelong learning” for people in European Union, the gap between those who are evolving and those with insecure job is growing all the time. Of course it affects the economic growth and cause changes. In general, people with steady job will be more willing to live in “lifelong learning” way, what will create a general wealth. Those with temporary job, from the insecure group, will cause the progressing poverty.