The position of the employer is much clearer. Any expenditure on work-related training should be allowed for tax purposes.
Salary sacrifice solution
A solution may be a salary sacrifice by the employee in favour of the provision by the employer of work related training. The exchange of salary for training creates no benefit in kind complications and as the exemption applies for tax and NIC purposes, both parties should enjoy NIC savings.
Self-employed traders will need to satisfy the rules for deduction of costs, namely, that they are incurred wholly and exclusively for the purposes of the trade or profession. This is an easier test to satisfy than that required for employees although there can be issues if brand new skills or qualifications are involved.