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Time To Train

Do you feel that you don’t get the time to train that you feel you should within your workplace? Did you know that the government now had a scheme called ‘Time to Train?

If you are an employee and you work in an organisation with 250 or more employees you have the statutory right to request time for study or training. You do not have to use the right for every training request. If you already have a Performance Management system or a Training Needs Analysis process with your employer for making training requests you can continue to use that.

To make a statutory request for 'time to train' you must:

  • be an employee
  • have worked for your employer continuously for at least 26 weeks before you apply

You will not be able to make a request for 'time to train' if you are:

  • an agency worker
  • a member of the armed forces
  • compulsory school age
  • a young person who already has a statutory right to paid time off to undertake study or training
  • 16-18 years old and already expected to take part in education or training

The training that can be requested is also quite specific and must be leading you towards a qualification and be job specific in that it will enable you to do your job more effectively and / or help you progress within your career.

Whilst it may well be that your training helps you in your current career, your employer does not have to pay for it, the scheme only allows for the time off element of the training and this may mean working flexibly to allow you the time off whilst still completing your contracted hours or your employer may ask you change your contract of employment to accommodate your training time and allow them how they cover the time you are away from the workplace.

However if you feel that the training would be very valuable to your current employment it is always worth putting a powerful business case within your request to your employer to try to ensure they pay for the training as well.

Whilst this scheme has been set up to encourage us to embrace the concept of lifelong learning it should not necessarily be seen as something that is divorced from your day to day work and it is beneficial for you to make the best business case for your employer or take advantage of Performance management processes whereby allowing you to help identify training that benefits you and the business.

Sometimes we don’t always appreciate or understand the processes that employers have in place or take the time to make the business case to them because we perceive training as about us and not to benefit both parties or it can be that employers don’t always understand the benefits to them and have to have it put to them in black and white so that they don’t, particularly as a small business, feel as though they are paying for something that is just a training experience that will make no real difference. In this case, its also your job to ensure that if the employer pays you ensure you use the new skills to make a difference.

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