How should you ask your employer for education funding?


pound coin balancing on pound coins


Many employees deem their success at work would improve if they were given the opportunity to develop their knowledge and receive additional training. Yet, there’s a possibility that a number of them don’t feel confident about speaking to their employer about asking them for education funding. Maybe they don’t think this is an appropriate thing to ask, or they simply believe that their employer would disagree. The truth is, those employees that have been invested in by their workplace often show both higher levels of productivity and well-being – bringing benefits to both themselves and the business.

So, what’s the best way to approach your employer? Is there a particular right or wrong way of asking for education funding? It’s true there are a few things to bear in mind. The following guide produced by members of the Newcastle College adult learning department aims to answer this by proving some useful hints and tips on the issue.


Do your research

Take time to learn about the education area that you want to go into before speaking to 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.

Some people believe that university is their only option when looking to go into further education, but this isn’t the case. 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 your flexibility

Show your employer how training can be flexible in fitting around your job. 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!

Were you aware that you can actually be examined on-the-job to achieve 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.

Have a word your local college or learning centre for a comprehensive list of modules and assessment methods for whichever course you wish to apply for.


What are the benefits?

Completing additional training has the potential of bringing a wide array of benefits for not only yourself but for your employer too.

Widening your knowledge could help to fill in a gap in the business where this knowledge may be absent. You can then 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 the majority of employers it is important that their employees are satisfied in their jobs. 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.


Provide the necessary information

Make sure that your employer has all of information required for them to make an informed and fair decision. This allows them to fully review all the information at a later date and saves them from doing in-depth research themselves.

What kind of information should be covered? Module overviews, assessment methods, course testimonials and information about websites or open days would all be useful. With these, they can find out more if they want to.

It’s also worth noting that when undertaking further education, there’s a certainty that you’ll have to give up some free time as well. Make sure your employer knows the sacrifices you are willing to make to improve your performance at work.

Reflect on the above if and when you decide to approach your employer for educating funding. Don’t be afraid to ask the question — you and your employer can both enjoy the many benefits.






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Should your business make the smart meter switch?


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Smart meters have become a common fixture in many people’s homes. If you don’t have one yet, you have probably read about them.

Smart meters have been predominantly geared towards residential addresses. But small business owners may be interested to know that smart meters can also provide numerous benefits to them too.


Smart meters in the UK

There is currently an energy plan in place. The government has set electricity and mains gas suppliers the target of making the technology available to every home in England, Scotland and Wales by 2020 – that’s 26 million households in total.

So, what is the long-term plan for smart meters? To phase out imprecise estimated readings in favour of up-to-the-minute digital energy usage recordings, taken by smart meters. These measurements are then sent directly to energy suppliers and used to generate fully accurate bills, based on actual usage.

You should be aware that it’s not just homes that can pick up a smart meter. Run a small business with fewer than 10 employees? Then, chances are, you’re entitled to a smart meter too. If in doubt, simply ask your energy supplier or broker. If your energy bills are included in the rent you pay for your commercial premises, it’s the bill payer who needs to make the request for your smart meter – so ask your landlord.


Why should I get a smart meter for my business?

Can smart meters offer any real business benefits? The short answer is yes, and these are just some of them:

  • Accurate bills  

Your bill is your bill – no more projections or estimated bills means you can manage your overheads.

  • See what you’re paying for

Smart meters show you when you’re using the most energy. Are those 3 o’clock office tea rounds causing a spike in usage as the kettle goes into overdrive? Is your business wasting energy outside of normal working hours because computers are being left on overnight? These are issues a smart meter can help you identify and, more importantly, act on – whether that means investing in a hot water urn or reminding employees to switch off their machines at night. Developing a heightened awareness and understanding of your energy usage also makes you more likely to make smarter money and energy-saving decisions across your business.

  • Meter readings are a thing of the past

Smart meters don’t need you to manually send off meter readings. It does its thing, you do yours. Simple.

  • Less downtime  

As the UK’s energy network upgrades along with smart meters, power cuts will be dealt with faster.

  • Getting greener

Smart meters are part of a greener future for Britain. Put simply, the long-term plan is to create a fully integrated smart grid linking different hardware, communications and other technologies together in something of an internet for gas and electricity. Smart meters are a crucial step towards this vision, which will eventually serve homes and businesses alike with greener, more efficient, less wasteful and more cost-effective energy.

  • Competitive tariffs

Smart meters show your supplier what you need. It’s this kind of information that suppliers need to develop new, innovative and increasingly competitive tariffs.


Sounds goods! How do I get a smart meter?

You’ll be happy to hear the process is pretty similar to when you arranged your business gas installation.  Once you’ve made the initial move of speaking to your energy supplier or broker (or your landlord, in the case of rented premises), here’s what will happen:

  • Arrange a visit

If you’re eligible, your supplier will contact you to arrange a time and day. They will work with you to ensure this is a time that works for both parties, and causes minimal disruption to the running of your business

  • Make sure someone’s in

Be sure to have someone available to let the installer in.

  • You’re all set!

With the smart meter installed, the installer will show you and your staff how to use it. They can also field any questions.

All done! As soon as your smart meter is in, your business can start reaping the benefits.



Post-installation surveys have shown customer satisfaction levels to be high. For example, the Smart Meter Customer Experience Study carried out in August 2017 by the government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy revealed that 80% of those surveyed were satisfied with the technology itself, while 89% were pleased with the installation visit.

Want to be a part of the smart meter revolution? Talk to your supplier today, or visit for more information.






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