Learning and self-development can be invaluable for employees to support their current role or future ambitions. But how do you approach your employer when you want them to fund it?
Many adults who get the opportunity to further their education and training find that they can bring more to their job. When adults can take part in further education and gain extra qualifications, it allows them to progress in their roles. Some may feel that they could bring more to their role with the right knowledge and training. However, it’s possible that many people feel they can’t speak to their employer and ask them for education funding. Perhaps they believe it’s an inappropriate question to ask, or they don’t think that their employer would agree. In reality, employees that have been invested in by their place of work often have better wellbeing and are more productive — bringing more to their company.
But, before you rush to your employer and tell them you want to ask for further funding, what should you know? Members from the Newcastle College adult learning department give us their top tips:
1. Decide on the right course
Before you speak to your employer about a course, make sure that you’ve researched all of your possibilities. With so many training and education providers available, you’ll find there is an overwhelming range of courses and options out there. 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 think that they need to go to university to further their 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.
2. Emphasise the flexible learning element
Demonstrate to your employer that further training and learning doesn’t have to be disruptive. 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!
Make yourself aware of the different methods of assessment as many courses involve on the job testing. 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.
Don’t hesitate to speak with your local college and request a detailed list of modules and methods of assessment for the course you’d like to apply for.
3. Highlight how the business benefits
Take into consideration that you can bring more benefits to the business if you further your learning.
By taking part in a course, or gaining another qualification, you could fill a knowledge gap in the company, for example. This is knowledge you can share with your colleagues. It’s also possible that after your training, you could be bringing financial benefits to 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.
Your boss values your happiness and job satisfaction. Therefore, 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.
4. Give your employer as much information as you can
Before approaching your employer, gather as much information as you can to give them upfront. This allows them to fully review all the information at a later date and saves them from doing in-depth research themselves.
Provide them with information such as; module overviews, assessment methods, course testimonials and information about websites or open days so that they can find out more if they want to.
You should also bear in mind that you’re committing some of your time too when you take on the responsibility of further training. Make sure your employer knows the sacrifices you are willing to make to improve your performance at work.
Author: Laura-Jane Todd is a copywriter at digital marketing agency, Mediaworks. After graduating with a degree in Marketing from Newcastle University in July 2017, Laura-Jane took on the role as copywriter in August of the same year. She uses her creative skills to write unique content for a range of clients from various industries.