Deadline extended for £500 apprentice payment

The deadline for new apprentices to apply for a £500 incentive payment has been extended until the end of September.

As part of the Wychavon and Malvern Hills Upskilling Project, both councils are offering the incentive to promote apprenticeships and trainee programmes, which help many people to take their first steps in the world of work or embark on new careers.

So far, 26 apprentices have benefited from the £500 incentive payment, and many are encouraging others to apply.

Zander Marshall from Ombersley was just 16, and had recently left school, when he joined Amada as an apprentice in mechanical and electronic engineering.

"An apprenticeship mixes work and training so it meant that I could get a head start in my career while also gaining a qualification. I have definitely learnt a lot so far, both about engineering and the world of work," says Zander.

"The incentive payment was a big help when it came to buying my car, which has made travelling to and from work much easier."

After being made redundant, Carly Wardle, a 21-year-old from Evesham, started an apprenticeship in business administration with Certified Quality Systems.

"I'm gaining a lot of hands-on experience of working in a professional environment and developing new skills. I'm enjoying my role and I've become much more confident in it," says Carly.

"The incentive payment has really helped in the current situation, especially with the petrol price increases."

New apprentices or trainees of any age are eligible to receive the £500 payment if they meet the criteria.

To qualify, they must live or work in the Wychavon or Malvern Hills District areas, earn less than £15,000 a year, have completed at least the first month of their course, and claim the payment themselves.

This incentive forms part of a range of activities designed to boost skills, help businesses grow and support people into work, using more than £283,000 from the UK Community Renewal Fund.

There is also a separate support payment of £1,000 available for new apprentices and trainees, which can help them to cover the cost of travel, equipment, clothing and other associated expenses.

Cllr Richard Morris, Executive Board Member for Economic Growth and Tourism on Wychavon District Council, said: "We understand the financial pressures that apprentices and trainees face, so we are pleased to be able to provide them with this support. We would encourage everyone who can to apply as soon as possible."

More details about the support available, including full terms and conditions, and how to apply, can be found online: www.wychavon.gov.uk/business.

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