How to get Company Funding for Language Training
If you believe improving your foreign language skills will help you in your current role, and any future roles within your company then you have a good chance of obtaining full or part funding from your employers. If improving your language skills is relevant to your career and makes you more valuable as an employee then following the steps below will improve your chances of obtaining funding from your employer:
Research possible courses, institutions and options. Make sure that you choose the best possible provider by checking the overall reputation of the course provider and the reputation they have for the specific language you require.
2) Choose the Best Option
Ensure that you find the provider/course with the best reputation combined with the most competitive fees and tuition flexibility. Some providers, like Cactus, will offer a discount on certain courses for employees of corporate clients. If you are looking for private tuition then it is important to check the flexibility that is available to you to ensure you can fit your language learning around your job.
3) Focus on the Return On Investment (ROI)
Build a business case around the ROI. It needs to be made clear to your employers what the company will gain for investing in your professional development. If for example you work for clients on a consultancy basis will your improved language skills mean that the company will be able to recruit more clients from the regions that speak that language? Will your improved language skills mean that the company can charge more per hour for your services?
4) Highlight the benefits
• The language training will increase your sense of self-worth and confidence
• Your employer will gain a more able and better qualified staff member
• Investing in professional development is prove to increase employee loyalty and staff retention levels
• Up-skilling current staff is often cheaper than recruiting new staff members
• Many companies can sign off training and educational cost before tax, making it cheaper for the company
Demonstrate that you recognise the process of obtaining funding may take time, especially if this type of request is new to your company and the request needs to be approved by various levels of seniority. If your proposal is rejected ask for clarification on what the reasons are and inquire if there is scope to reapply in the future.
6) Professional Development Plan
A good time to ask for funding for training is during your appraisal where opportunities for professional development should be discussed. If your company is vested in your progression as an employee they should be open to any suggestions you have for courses that you feel will benefit your progression and career path. This should be linked to point 3.
7) Show you are Committed
Indicated how and when you will fit in your classes and study time. This could be after work (group evening courses) or during your lunch-break or directly after work (face-to-face one-to-one in your offices).
8) Talk to the Right People
Check with your HR department if such a scheme is in place. Check with HR who you should approach about this, in most cases you will need to request a meeting with your line manager. Ensure everyone concerned is aware that this is a serious proposal by scheduling a meeting rather than having a chat in the kitchen.
9) Read the Contract
In some cases there may be a contract to sign. Make sure you understand all the clauses and understand exactly what you are committing to. Will your company pay for all the training or make a percentage contribution? How will the payment be made – directly to the provider or will you need to claim back the fees? Are there any conditions such as committing to the company for a longer period of time? Paying back the full amount if you do not finish the course? What happens if you leave the company before the training ends? Will the company expect you to provide evidence of your language level and the progression you have made?
Cactus language offers the following types of language courses:
Evening language courses: 19 different languages in 15 UK locations
Language holidays: worldwide immersion courses in the country of the language
Private tuition: tailor-made and corporate language training solutions throughout the world
TEFL: teacher training courses for both English and other languages all over the world
Online courses: for teacher training, English and French