Adult education allowance is an easy and affordable way to develop your employees’ expertise during their careers through part-time or full-time studies. The allowance can be a good solution for small and medium-sized enterprises that suffer from staff or skills shortage.
Employers may not always see adult education allowance as a tool that they could use, which is perhaps because it is granted to employees. Some may have the impression that the allowance is only meant for people who want to change careers. However, it also enables employees to complete flexible additional vocational training while working.
“It is definitely a good idea to include the adult education allowance in your toolkit. It can be used to support an individual employee’s studies or the employer’s staff competence development plans,” says Tuulikki Saari, Director of Customer Relations of the Employment Fund.
Getting started does not require enormous efforts. You can, for example, look into what local and publicly funded vocational trainings or degrees there are that could meet your company’s needs. You should also remember flexible remote and online studies, which are becoming more and more common. You can take the best options and build a training package to offer to current or new employees.
You can suggest adult education allowance to your employee when the employment contract has lasted for one year. You can discuss study goals together. The things the employee learns will support the employee’s work.
Adult education allowance can be granted to employees who have eight years of employment history in any field. The required employment history can also contain up to two years of military service or parental leave.
Employers should note that in order to study on adult education allowance, the employee needs to take full-time or part-time study leave. To assess how the shift to studying on the allowance will affect the employee’s income, you can use this calculator and discuss the best options together.
“Adult education allowance enables the flexible combination of work and studies. The allowance can be granted for completing both full degrees and short, publicly funded trainings,” says Katja Knaapila, Director of HR and Communications of the Employment Fund.
The decision to transfer to a new role within the company or to embark on an entirely new career path is not always made by the employee. It can be prompted by changes in working life or health or family reasons. Even the most seasoned veterans can suddenly find a new calling.
Adult education allowance makes these situations easier for both the employer and the employee. According to Knaapila, the most important thing is to prepare for unexpected situations in advance.
“When supervisors and employees are aware of the allowance, it can already make it easier to find a solution to an unexpected situation, whether it’s underachievement issues or the employee’s desire to get better at their current job or pursue a new career path.”
The Employment Fund has been happy to see how the dialogue between employers and employees has become more open.
“Confidential dialogue is one way to guarantee business continuity, along with continuous learning and development. The interest in adult education allowance has clearly increased in recent years,” Saari and Knaapila say.
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