Many people feel that they could add significant value to their professional role if they had the right education and training. But that doesn’t always translate into those people feeling that they can talk to their employer. Especially if it means asking them for funding.
For many, the idea of their employer funding education or training for them is wishful thinking. They might believe it’s an inappropriate question to ask, or they may simply think it would be pointless because their employer would never agree to it. The reality, however, is that employees who have benefitted from educational investment from their employer often have greater well-being and are more productive. In addition, these benefits are also reaped by their employer.
If you are looking to get some training so that you can develop yourself, what can you do? There are a few important things you need to be aware of when approaching an employer and asking them for training. Members of the Newcastle College adult learning department give us their advice.
Research your training options
Make sure you research the specific education area you’re considering before approaching your employer. There are so many education and training providers and you’ll find there’s a whole range of courses and options available. Night courses, part-time degrees, higher apprenticeships – there’s so much to choose from that you’ll definitely find a course that will fit nicely around your work/life balance.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that applying to a university is your only option if you want to achieve higher qualifications and expand your skill set. Speak to your local college and visit their website to see what they have to offer. It’s likely that they have a course related to your field or a topic that you’re interested in.
Demonstrate the flexibility of the training
Your employer is certainly more likely to support and fund your training if they believe you can do it without there being a negative effect on your performance at work. But this is all about doing your research and showing your boss that there are flexible courses out there – designed for people just like you!
There are many courses that allow you to be assessed on the job. So essentially, you won’t be sacrificing working hours because of having to take exams. Plus your ability to complete work tasks shouldn’t be affected.
You can ask your local college for a detailed list of modules and methods of assessment for the course you’d like to apply for.
Explaining the benefits to you and the business
There’s a range of benefits that training can bring to both you and your employer’s business.
The particular field of expertise that you want to develop could fill a knowledge gap in the business. And paying it forward is key in this sense because it’s knowledge you can share with your colleagues. It’s also possible that after your training, you could be bringing in financial benefits for the business. So, for example, they might not have to employ someone else to fill a role. Or even an external company or person to pick up that area of work.
So think about what your new qualification will do for your employer and explain these benefits to them when you pop the question.
Any good employer likes to know that their workforce is content. Let your employer know what your training would mean to you. It will make you feel more confident in your role, and more valued and empowered. Tell your boss all this!
Give them all the information upfront
When you speak to your employer, it’s important that you put all the relevant information on the table. This allows them to fully review all the information at a later date. Plus it saves them from doing the in-depth research themselves.
Prepare for what you’re going to share. As a guide, think of things like module overviews, assessment methods, course testimonials and information about websites or open days. And give your employer enough details so that they can go and find out more if they want to.
It’s likely that you’ll have to commit to giving up a significant amount of your personal time to complete a course. This will be even likelier if your employer isn’t able to give you time away from work. So make sure your employer knows the sacrifices you’re willing to make to add value.
I hope this post has provided some useful pointers as to how to approach your employer and ask them for educational or training funding. The most important thing to remember is don’t be afraid to ask the question!