Upskilling is a great way to enhance or change careers, but if you’re already working it can be hard to squeeze in training around the nine to five.
This can leave some people feeling stuck in a rut.
Do not despair! Here are some of the ways you can make training fit.
Your right to train
First things first, if the training you want to do is of benefit to your employer, have a chat with them.
They may be thrilled that you’ve taken the initiative to enhance your skillset, offer to pay for some or all of the course and give you time to train.
Legally, employees of large companies are entitled to make one request a year to take time off for studying or training, as long as it can be argued the training will help improve their performance at work.
There’s obviously small-print; the company isn’t expected to pay for the training and the time taken off is usually unpaid, but if you’ve been working for them for at least 26 weeks and the company employs over 250 people so they can reasonably cover your absence, you should be alright.
Those working for smaller companies or sole traders aren’t so lucky. Your boss may grant you time off for studying – at their discretion.
If your boss won’t budge, or the training you want to do is unrelated to your current role, upskilling will need to be fitted around your working week. Here’s how:
Online courses are ideal for theory-based learning, such as brushing up on areas that might support your practical work – anything from current health and safety regulations to smarter ways to keep your accounts.
The beauty of this type of training is that you can fit around your workload. E-learning is often modular, so you build up the course over a defined period of time.
Apart from actual courses, there is also a wealth of webinars, online tutorials and podcasts available, that could help with things like running your business, marketing or introducing you to a new career.
Enhancing your skills is not just about qualifications, acquiring new knowledge is always useful.
Evening or weekend classes
Another alternative is to look for evening or weekend classes.
It’s surprising what is out there – training providers are increasingly aware of the need to provide working adults with more flexible options.
Your local college or training provider may hold regular open days where you can go and find out what is on offer and meet the trainers.
This way, you can suss out whether the course you are interested in is really the one you need.
If you’re going to give up precious working or leisure time to study, go armed with a list of questions, so you can check it out thoroughly before you commit yourself.
Viva Training Academy is planning to make some of our courses available in the evenings.
If you are interested, please get in touch.