I'm an apprentice at an engineering company and I'm due to go on a week-long residential training course in a few months time. This "training" is not technical, but rather focuses on building soft skills such as communication and leadership through physical activities and challenges.
I attended part 1 of this training earlier on in the year during spring and although the activities were enjoyable, myself and other apprentices did not feel we really learnt much in terms of practical skills that could be taken to the workplace.
The reasons I don't want to attend this time are as follows:
- Medical - The training is scheduled for the winter and is in the far north of the country meaning very cold and damp air are a certainty. This triggers my seasonal Asthma and can give me symptoms similar to a chest infection even with regular use of an inhaler. I feel like this reason alone would not be strong enough as I haven't needed to see a doctor over it for the past year, although I believe this to be down to my new job being office based.
- Distance - The training is literally located on the other side of the country and involves a day long un-paid journey to get there.
- Accommodation - The accommodation is very basic and involves sharing a room with a complete stranger. There is no phone signal across the whole of the site or internet available.
- Value - The course itself costs the business around 2 months worth of my salary. I genuinely don't feel like the last course was worth this. Almost everyone attending already had good soft skills, as it's good soft skills that got us jobs in the first place.
As far as I can tell, I'm not contractually obliged to attend this training, although not attending would involve going through various channels of management. I'm concerned that by making the effort to not attend this course, it may reflect badly on myself. The training itself is delivered by a separate subsidiary of the company so I'm not too concerned about annoying them, but my line manager would probably also have to be involved.
Should I bite the bullet or is it reasonable to not want to attend this training?
To clarify, the travel expenses themselves are paid for by the company, but the day of travel itself is on a Sunday which is not within my normal working hours and I am not being paid overtime for this.