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Photo: Skilled Trades workers ask 'What do you want to learn this year?'If you work in Alberta or British Columbia, you may have heard that the Canada Job Grant has taken effect in both provinces.
In short, the Canada Job Grant pays up to two-thirds of the costs of training an employee, to a maximum of $10,000 per grant. For example, for a $15,000 training program, your employer would pay $5,000 and the government $10,000.
Even though we predict that these grants will be generally easy to get, we believe that few employers will take the time to apply for them because of lack of awareness or lack of time. However, if employees take the initiative and do their research, we know that many employers can be convinced to invest in training—and with such a generous grant, it’ll be hard to ignore the benefits.
Want to convince your employer to upgrade your skills this year? Here are three steps to make your request more effective.

Research the demand for upgraded skills

With technology advancing so quickly, even the simplest of trades can change faster than anyone is able to follow. Companies and clients expect the best, most up-to-date skills to ensure high efficiency and better profits. However, without the proper training, it can be hard to keep up with these changes.
Doing a little research about the rising demand for upgraded skills in your field gives you a good chance of getting the training you need. Instead of dealing with a new and relatively inexperienced graduate, your employer gets the benefit of your experience, your loyalty and your knowledge of the company.
Of course, make sure to pair the upgraded skills with the proper training program!

Present a cost-benefit analysis

Cost-benefits analyses are reports that compare the costs of doing something (like paying for employee training) with the benefits of the activity (increase in efficiency, increase in profit, increase in customer satisfaction, etc.).
If you did the research in step 1, you should be ready to work on a cost-benefit analysis to present to your superior. Include all the costs related to your training, including textbooks, software, exams, time off work, etc.
The benefits can be more difficult to quantify. Begin by establishing your own value to the company (how much revenue per hour do you contribute to?) and then make an educated guess about the increase in productivity the training would provide. How much more per hour would that bring to your employers’ coffers?
Establish how long it will take for the investment to pay off. If the cost of your training can be offset in a few months, it’s a good deal! If it takes longer, you might also want to consider non-monetary benefits such as customer satisfaction, brand recognition, etc. These often lead to more sales and better customer retention!

Bring all the relevant documentation and offer to help with the application

One of the biggest obstacles to applying to the grants is putting together the documents and filling up the application. However, since you’ve done the research about both the training program and the Canada Job Grant in your province, you can help.
Give your employer the paper or electronic forms that are required, as well as any documents you need to provide and/or have access to. Many things will need to be filled out by your employer, but you can do a bit of the legwork and make it easier for your superior to request the grant on your behalf.
You can also call the training provider and ask if they are available to help with applications. Many schools and training programs offer consulting sessions with companies about Canada Job Grant applications. This could be a deciding factor for your boss!

What do you want to learn this year?

If you go through these three steps, you have a much better chance of getting the training you want to help grow your career. If your employer has already put together some kind of plan to use the Canada Job Grant, good for you! You should take advantage of it.
However, other employers might need a little more motivation to provide employee training. This is when discussing the grant, mentioning the market demand for upgraded skills and analyzing the benefits to your employer will make the difference.
Do you intend on taking advantage of the Canada Job Grant? How will you convince your employer to get you further training? Share your stories with the Red Seal community in the comments!