If you're management isn't going to allow some personal development time they're shooting themselves in the foot. They'll be heading towards higher staff turnover or poor quality employees in the longer term.
Giving up lunch breaks and staying after hours is a sacrifice. Personally I like to use them for eating lunch, seeing my partner and walking the dogs :-) Unless somebody is interested in perl for its own sake they are not going to sacrifice personal time. I don't think you can win that one.
I realise that this can be a hard problem to solve, but I think that your time will be better spent lobbying your management than your coworkers - that's where the problem is. You may be surprised. Asking works more often than you would expect, especially if you have sensible arguments for how the improved skills will help the company (as you do).
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