How to ask your employer for education funding

Many of us like to enhance our knowledge in our work role and believe that external training can help with this. Unfortunately, not everyone feels comfortable in requesting this to their employer. They may feel that it’s inappropriate to ask for funding, or they may think that there’s no chance their employer will agree to the request. 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.

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If you’re an adult who is looking to undergo extra training, you may be wondering exactly what you can do. There are certain things to remember when approaching an employer and asking them for training. Members of the Newcastle College adult learning department give us their advice:

Research the training options:

Make sure that you carry out significant research into the area you’re looking to go into before you approach 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 only limit yourself to university courses, either. 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.

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Demonstrate the flexibility of the training :

It’s more likely that your employer would accept your request if they understand that it won’t hinder your day-to-day role. 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!

Many courses offer you the chance to be assessed in your workplace and then gain 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.

Ask your local college to provide a list of the courses and modules that they offer that are in the area you’d like to apply.

Explaining the benefits to you and the business :

Training can bring a range of benefits to both you and the business.

Maybe your intended area of development can help plug a 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.

It’s important for employers to know that their workforce is content and happy. 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.

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Give them all the information upfront :

It’s crucial that you present all the information up front when you make the request to your employer. 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.

Bear in mind that you will probably be expected to give up some of your personal time to complete a course, especially if there isn’t any time available to allocate to you during working hours. Make sure your employer knows the sacrifices you are willing to make to improve your performance at work.

It’s noticeable that there are several ways to approach your employers about the subject. Don’t be afraid to ask the question — you and your employer can both enjoy the many benefits.  

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