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20 July 2020

How to ask your employer for training

Many employers will invest in your development. But what if you want training that hasn’t yet been offered? How might you persuade your organisation to provide that training even though it may result in further costs to your employer? The important thing to emphasise is that the training will not only deliver increased performance and effectiveness for you but also to your employer.

An effective method in achieving that training is to emphasise precisely the benefits your employer will enjoy because of the training that you will receive. Training, and improving your performance through that training, is, of course, critical in allowing you to enhance and further your career within the profession.

All employers will want a solid return on the investment they make by offering you further training. It is critical then that you demonstrate how your employer will benefit from your enhanced skills and for them to see your commitment to them in return. It’s also of benefit to remember that they very well may be expecting to see the benefits of that investment and training quickly.

It’s often best to put a request for training into writing, and you should ensure that you follow any HR processes where applicable.


Drafting a request letter for training


First, do your research – for yourself and your organisation

What do you want to achieve? How would you like to increase your legal knowledge and expertise? Do you want to be able to assess risk more efficiently? Be better placed to prevent cybercrime? Be able to engage with project management and attract prominent commercial clients? Why do you want to learn? For example, if you do wish to enhance your project management skills, can you communicate how that will benefit a client?

You’ll need to specify the benefits of the training to the team you’re in and to the organisation. For example, if you’ve noticed a skills gap within either, point this out diplomatically and make clear how the training you have in mind will address it.

  1. What are the desired business outcomes of your organisation?
  2. How do they relate to their employee’s skills?
  3. Evaluate your competencies and appraise your performance in that light.
  4. Decide which skills gaps are a priority to address.
  5. Research how they can be trained.
  6. Attempt a cost-benefit analysis.

Be forward-thinking – consider the skills you’ll need to develop the potential future business; you’re not just keeping pace with the training of your peers but ought to be gaining an edge. However, do ask your fellow workers and supervisors what training they’ve found useful.

If you have a training provider in mind, make sure that they can deliver what you need and that they are a company that reflects the levels of quality and professionalism of your employer.


Demonstrate your loyalty to the firm

Allay any concerns that your employer may have about training you and then have you take your improved competencies to another organisation. Express your commitment and demonstrate how your upgraded skills can be of immediate benefit.


Be flexible

Be prepared to consider and to present alternative training proposals, demonstrating that you’ve done your research and are prepared to compromise. Tell your employer that, once you’re trained, you’ll be prepared to keep them up to date with how the training is being put into practice.


Tips for the style of your letter

  • Use a professional tone.
  • Highlight your efforts and achievements.
  • Express gratitude for the willingness of your employer to consider your request.
  • Proofread your letter.


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