My company wants me to do HR, but won’t train me

I
am secretary to the manufacturing director of my company and in January year
was given the added responsibility of HR administration for the manufacturing
area.  I am
being used as a "guinea pig" as the company intends to use each of the
directors’ secretaries to oversee their individual areas of HR administration
using a new HR software system. My problem is that I
have had no training in HR, and while I have a wealth of experience in other
areas and plenty of common sense, I do feel that training would not come amiss.

Ideally
I would like the company to sponsor me to do a correspondence course as I am
not able to attend college in the evenings, and my workload would make it
difficult for me to attend on a day release programme. I have seen CIPD courses
advertised where this is possible with, perhaps, one day a month out of the
office, which I could manage.

The
company is currently unwilling to fund this, and has suggested I attend a
variety of one-day courses, but these do not add up to anything in the end.

They
may also reason that if they sponsor me, they will also have to sponsor the
other secretaries who may follow my lead and ask for training.

Do
you have any suggestions?  How can I
persuade my company that it would be in their interest for me to gain a
qualification. After all, I have another 17 years until I can collect my
company pension!

Margaret
Malpas, joint managing director of Malpas Flexible Learning, writes:

This
is a thorny one but I have three suggestions which I hope will help.

Firstly,
is there any training available with this new software system?  It is
usual with most HR systems that the implementation plan includes operator
training.  This might help provide some insight into
personnel administration.

Secondly,
what about making use of all that wealth of experience and doing part
of an NVQ 4 in management?  This could then be used to provide
exemption against certain modules of the Core Management field of the
CIPD graduate programme.  This approach would also deal with the issue of
other secretaries receiving training as an NVQ is only possible if you are
doing the work.

Finally,
I would recommend that you prepare a case for professional training and
include the costs and the costed benefits which the company would gain
from your extra knowledge and skill.  I think some assertive behaviour is
called for here, don’t you?

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