So like I said before, I am lucky and my boss sees value in sending me to training and I do my best to show off that the training works by improving things when I get back. Training can help save the company money in the long term for sure. One thing that I told my boss is that if it costs 5k to send me to training I think I can save the company that amount of money multiple times by implementing the skills that I acquire. Example is that I know we can do some consolidation and save money on licensing and hardware, I will be able to do this consolidation more effectively if I go to training and really know how to get the most performance out of my servers. If I can consolidate just two sql server enterprise instances then I have more then paid for the cost of my training. So in the big picture it is not that expensive.
Anyway, the plan that my co-workers that are not as lucky as me, they actually work for a different company but we work together, have come up with is that we are going to allocate one day a week to training. Just us. We all have different skills sets and we all have different levels of experience. So why not leverage each other and train each other in the areas that we are strongest. This will make us all better at our jobs and we will be able to push each other to get better. Now of course you have to have a boss that will sign off on something like this but it really costs the company little to nothing. Sure some time, but we will all be in the office and available if needed. It might be hard to train everyone not to bother us unless it is something that is a big deal but I think we can manage that.
So I challenge you to come up with a solution that will help you get some training that is not all on your own time and dime. let me know what ideas you come up with as well. I will also keep you posted on how this works out for us.