Some people feel that if they had the right knowledge and training, they could bring more to their role. I am one of these people – this year despite running a successful business of my own, I chose to go back to education to enhance my knowledge and improve my career success. While I am self-funding my education, for a lot of people this isn’t an option which is where asking an employer to help cover the costs of their learning comes into things. Of course, a lot of people worry about asking this, as they feel like it’s inappropriate of them to ask, or they feel that employer would not agree. In reality, employees that have been invested in by their place of work often have a higher well-being and are more productive — bringing more to their company.
So the question is: if you’re a working adult who wants to undertake additional training but works full-time and can’t afford to fund their own education, what can you do? There are certain things to remember when approaching an employer and asking them for training. Members of the department share their advice below!
Research the training options
Carry out research into the specific education area that you’re looking to go into before approaching your employer. With many training and education providers, you’ll find that there are a range of courses and options available. From night courses to part-time degrees, to higher apprenticeships, you can find a course that will fit nicely around your work/life balance.
Don’t think that applying to a university is your only option to gain 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 run a course related to your field or around a topic that you’re interested in.
Demonstrate the flexibility of the training
Your employer is more likely to fund and encourage your training if they believe that you can do it without hindering your current work performance. Again, this is all about doing your research and demonstrating to your boss that there are flexible courses out there – designed for workers like you!
In many courses, you can be assessed on the job to receive your qualification. This means that you wouldn’t be sacrificing any working hours for exams and your ability to complete tasks at work 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 are a range of benefits that training can bring to both you and the business. Perhaps the area that you want to develop training in could fill a knowledge gap in the company. This is 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, for example, if it means they don’t have to employ somebody else to fill a role or an external company to pick up that area of work. Think about what your new qualification could allow you to do and present this to your employer when asking the question.
For many employers, they like to know that their workforce is happy and content. Let your employer know what this training would mean for you. Will it make you feel more confident in your role? Or, more valued and empowered? If so, express these feelings to your boss.
Give them all the information upfront
When you present the question of training to your employer, it’s important that you bring all of the information upfront. This allows them to fully review all the information at a later date and saves them from doing in-depth research themselves.
This could include; module overviews, assessment methods, course testimonials and information about websites or open days so that they can 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, especially if your employer isn’t able to give you time away from the workplace. Make sure your employer knows the sacrifices you are willing to make to improve your performance at work.
As you can see, there are ways to approach your employer and ask them for funding. Don’t be afraid to ask the question — you and your employer can both enjoy the many benefits.