How to ask your boss to fund your training

Could you make more money or improve the outcomes for your organisation by taking English language training? Convincing the company to pay for your English language training is much easier if you have a clear plan. Here are some tips to help:

Be clear on what you want to learn

Make a list of what you want to achieve and how the new skills you will learn from training will address those needs.

Lola, from France, is a consultant at one of London’s leading firms. Although she already had an excellent understanding of English, she felt that her clients and colleagues sometimes misunderstood her because she had a very strong French accent. To soften it, Lola decided to take individual English lessons. In this case, Lola identified a very clear training need, and she made quick progress with her trainer. Read Lola’s story here.

Your proposal should include how much training will cost, how long it will take, where the training will be held, and your reasoning behind these decisions. If you can, refer back to positive outcomes from past training. Present your manager with a few different options and remember that the cheapest option is rarely the best.

Be clear on why you need training

The best way to justify the investment in your training is to explain exactly how your lack of skill in a particular area is hindering you in meeting the company’s. Remember that your job may now be very different to the one you were initially hired for, so don’t be afraid to highlight a skill that you may need help with.

Oliver, from Germany, moved into a new role within the organisation he already worked for that involved giving presentations in English, moderating conferences and events, and teaching change management to international clients, including clients from English-speaking countries. Once he started his new role, he realised that he needed formal English training to feel more confident in meeting the demands of this role. After six weeks at The London School of English learning Business and Professional English, and one week of specialised English for Human Resources training, Oliver developed the extra skills and confidence he needed to excel in his new role. Read Oliver’s story here.

Don’t limit yourself to general English. We have a range of courses specifically developed for particular needs, for example:

Get in sync with the goals of your organisation

Show how your new training will enable you to do tasks which your organisation outsources or does not currently do, and how this will result in cost savings or the creation of a new revenue stream. Aligning your personal development needs with the company’s strategic goals or business plan will be helpful when you deliver your training proposal.

Ana, a business owner from Brazil, came to The London School of English to gain confidence when pitching for business to new clients. Since then, Ana has been able to use her new skills to expand her business and launch a new service. Read Ana’s story here.

Be SMART, quantify the benefits

Use the SMART approach to outline the business case for your training. Make your request Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. Remember, the aim is to make your proposal relevant to the goals of those who will approve the budget.

Think about how to demonstrate a quantifiable return on investment (ROI). For example, work out if more sales in the following year would offset the training costs. If the training is vital to your role within the company, or for promotion to a new position, make this clear. A lawyer, for example, might need to do a specific Legal English course to be able to take on international clients.

Schedule a meeting to discuss them

Present your case in person on over a Zoom meeting, not via email. A face-to-face presentation will give you an opportunity to answer questions and get feedback. If you are unsuccessful it is crucial to understand why as it will give you an idea of what you might need to adjust the next time you make a request.

Good luck!

Glossary:

Outcomes: results

Fund: money made available for a purpose

Rarely: Something that does not happen very often

Moderate: to supervise an event or meeting

Outsource: to get goods our services from an external supplier

Income: money received 

Align: to give support to a person, organization, or a cause

This blog has been written at level B1. Practise your reading and listening by reading the blogs below.

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