Even if you’re happy in your job, you may feel that you would be able bring more to your role with the right knowledge and training. It’s always great to learn more! Many people think that they can’t speak to their employer and ask them for education funding. This is something that you really need to be comfortable with talking about. It’s a fact that 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 you will definitely benefit from talking to your employer about funding.
If you’re an adult wanting to carry out training, what can you do? You’ve probably been out of education for a long time and don’t know where to start. There are certain things to remember when approaching an employer and asking them for training. Members of the Newcastle College adult learning department have offered their advice:
Research the training options
Before you approach your employer, it is important that you carry out research into the specific education area that you’re looking to go into. With many training and education providers, you’ll find that there are a range of courses and options available and you’ll need to see which is right for you. From night courses to part-time degrees, to higher apprenticeships, you will be able to 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. These days you can gain higher education qualifications from your local college. 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. If you can do it after work then that’s great! 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! Obviously you don’t want it to take up too much of your free time, so see what is best for the both of 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. Your employer may prefer this option.
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. They will be happy to help!
Explaining the benefits to you and the business
There are a range of benefits that training and further education 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 so it will help you all out. 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. There’s so many benefits to educational training!
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. Make a note of everything that you want to say, this way you shouldn’t forget anything. 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. You need to make sure that you are happy with this arrangement. Also you should 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.