The end of the financial year (EOFY) is looming over the horizon, which means different things for different people. For managers, it’s a sign that their budgets are about to disappear into the long grass.
For employees, it’s time to give their accountants a call (and figure out where they put all those ‘lunch meeting’ receipts). But there’s one thing everyone should really tie off before EOFY hits, and that’s training. Before the clock strikes midnight on June 30, you need to lock in your formal career development, and there are several big reasons why you should.
Use it or lose it
The most obvious one is that budgets are usually divided either quarterly or by financial year. Either way, they reset on 1 July. Which means anything you don’t spend now, you’re going to lose. This applies to managers with dedicated training budgets, but also to employees who haven’t used their allocated development funding – or might not be aware they have any. The good news is that many tertiary institutions (including RMIT Online) offer discounts for larger cohorts, so you can upskill your whole team and stretch your budget further at the same time.
In recent research from RMIT Online and Deloitte Access Economics, 82 per cent of Australian managers believed that upskilling their teams would be critical for business performance this year. The fact is, we’re in a skills shortage, and the employees who expand their CV and keep their skills up-to-date will have a competitive edge. Analysis of job requirements in 2021, for example, found that digital skills are now the third most requested criterion from potential employers (behind customer service and project management). Some 21 per cent of Australian companies say their employee skills are out of date, so there’s never going to be a better time to upskill.
For employees, formal development and training aren’t just another managerial hoop to jump through; they can have a real impact on your earning potential and future career. New research from RMIT Online and Deloitte found that workers with digital skills enjoy a nine per cent pay premium over unskilled workers – which shakes out to an average of $7,700 extra per year. Essentially, the more up-to-date your resume, the more leverage you have, and the higher your ultimate income potential. If you have OKRs to tick off before EOFY hits, or you’re looking for a promotion in the next financial year, upskilling is definitely the way to go.
It’s tax deductible (usually)
Even if you don’t have training budget set aside, or you’re self-employed, online learning can be tax deductible. And if you want to claim those deductions in the near future, as opposed to halfway through 2023, you need to move quick. Just be aware, the ATO does have several eligibility requirements that employees have to meet in order to claim training expenses. The big one being: “a tax deduction for your self-education expenses related to your work as an employee is available if you work and study at the same time”. You can check the full list of requirements over here.
Retain staff show your care
According to LinkedIn’s 2018 Workforce Learning Report, 93 per cent of employees said they’d stay at a company longer if it invested in their careers. Study after study show that quality workplace training improves employee retention. It also indicates to staff that you care about their careers. New research shows that 77 per cent of Australian workers believe training programs demonstrate employer interest in their development. And that interest is what tends to attract and retain talent.
“Upskilling will be playing a crucial role in closing the skills gaps,” says John O’Mahony, Partner at Deloitte Access Economics. “Employers anticipate they will spend more on upskilling over the next year and employees value this investment, with many noting that it is a sign their employers want to invest in them, and they care about their development.”
It’s cheaper right now
Last but not least, many tertiary institutions and online training programs run sales leading up to EOFY, so this is a great chance to swoop and maximise your training budget. The more staff you enrol, the better the discounts tend to be. Check out RMIT Online’s workplace-ready learning programs for more information.
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