Mark Krull, Director for Logic4training calls on businesses to take another look at the Government's ‘Right to Request Time to Train' scheme, which could help fill skills gaps in the building services engineering sector and beyond, following a recent report that the scheme is not known about or dismissed by eligible organisations.
The Right to Request Time to Train regulations is a little-known policy that allows employees in companies with 250+ staff to ask time off to train. Recent Government research published on 20 October suggested that only half of eligible businesses know about the Right, with many viewing it as superfluous to their operations.
In Logic4training's view training is good for business, helping to fill skills gaps in a cost-effective manner, while making staff feel valued and that their career progression needs are being met. Training existing employees is far cheaper than recruitment and the very fact someone comes forward with a training request suggests they are ambitious and pro-active.
This training will not necessarily cost a business either; the Right to Request Time for Training scheme focuses on unpaid leave for training - although we would suggest that if an employee is undertaking training beneficial to your business, their time and some if not all of the course training fees should be met.
What's clear from the Government's report is that there is a lack of understanding amongst employers and employees and this needs to be addressed in order for the scheme to succeed. The report shows that where employees are made aware, they are more likely to feel confident about discussing their training needs.
I would encourage eligible businesses to educate their staff and for employees to take this opportunity to look at areas where training would be beneficial; this could be the key to progression within a role, or provide an opportunity to move into a new area.
There is talk of extending the scheme to SMEs; a welcome suggestion. It is often smaller organisations that would benefit most from staff training and the Government has suggested that they may introduce funding mechanisms to support an employer's investment, hopefully encouraging take-up in less cash-rich organisations.
Do you know your rights?
To find out what businesses in the building services engineering sector and beyond know and feel about the Right to Request Time to Train scheme, Logic4training has launched a survey, asking employers and employees their views and understanding of the scheme, including whether this is something smaller businesses and their staff would be interested in.
Take the survey, here: https://www.logic4training.co.uk/blog/training/what-are-your-rights-to-train/