Study and training opportunities once you are working

How you can earn and learn at the same time with workplace training.

How can I study or train while working?

There are two common ways to get into on-the-job training:

  • You decide on a qualification or course, and talk to your employer about whether they can support your study, or allow you some time each week to study. Most employers prefer that you do some research and come up with good reasons to be trained. You'll also need to demonstrate that you can juggle study and work.
  • Your employer wants you to get qualified in a certain subject area, and proposes to pay for or subsidise the cost of study or training.

What are the benefits of on-the-job training?

  • You can earn money while gaining new skills.
  • You learn skills that will help you do your job better.
  • You increase your chances for a promotion. Adding new skills also improves your job security, as you have more skills to offer your employer.

How can I fit study or training in with my work?

How you find time to do study or training while you are working is up to you and your employer. Some employers are more flexible and supportive of staff training needs, so you need to sound out your boss before you make any decisions.

  • You may be able to fit your study and training in around your regular work hours - perhaps by doing night classes.
  • Some people choose to cut back their work hours so that they can attend classes during the day. You'll need to get approval from your employer to do this.
  • If your employer is keen for you to learn a new skill, your study or training may be included in your work hours. However, this is rare for anything other than short courses.

Maintaining and building skills is one of the best ways for people to get ahead in their jobs or businesses, and keep their options open for the future.

Phil O'Reilly, CEO, Business NZ

Phil O'Reilly

Former CEO, Business NZ

What should you consider before doing on-the-job training?

How will study or training affect the rest of your life?

Doing study or training while working may affect the time you have to spend on work, hobbies or other activities, and your time with family/whanau and friends. Courses may be held during the evening, and you may also have to study in the evening and weekends.

Talk to your family/whanau about your plans, to let them know why this is important to you. Their support is essential and will help make the experience easier for you.

What are the financial costs?

Costs vary depending on the cost of the course itself, and whether your employer is supportive of your study.

You'll need to talk to your employer about your plans, and find out what can be done for you. They may be able to pay all or part of your course fees if it relates to your job.

However, if you are looking to train in a new area you will probably have to cover all costs yourself. If you are cutting back your hours to fit in your study, you'll need to factor this in as well.

Updated 2 Sep 2016