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.