Wychavon and Malvern Hills businesses could benefit from £2,000 upskilling grants

Local businesses could receive up to £2,000 towards the cost of taking on a new apprentice or trainee thanks to a new Upskilling Grant.

Wychavon and Malvern Hills District Councils have introduced the grants as part of their Upskilling Project, which is part-funded by the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund.

The £283,000 project involves a range of activities designed to boost skills, help businesses grow and support people into work.

Businesses in any sector can apply for up to two upskilling grants, as long as the trainees started after 1 April 2021 and before 31 March 2022.

To qualify, businesses need to be based in the Malvern Hills or Wychavon district postcode area and employ fewer than 250 people.

They must pay at least the minimum wage to the trainee for a post of at least 20 hours a week, including training, over a minimum of three months. They must also provide for the trainee to gain a recognised qualification.

Grants are paid on a first come first served basis and will only last for as long as the funding does. Businesses are urged to apply early, so they don't miss out.

Grants are paid after the apprentice or trainee has completed three months of their course.

Cllr Richard Morris, Executive Board Member for Economic Growth and Tourism on Wychavon District Council, said: "Upskilling grants are a great way to help businesses cover the cost of taking on a trainee or apprentice, boosting their workforce with new talent and ideas."

Cllr Marc Bayliss, cabinet member with responsibility for Economy and Skills at Worcestershire County Council, said: "The Community Renewal fund is a fantastic opportunity to make a real positive impact through funding imaginative new programmes that will boost productivity and grow local economies.

"I am delighted to see the plan from Wychavon and Malvern Hills District Councils, and the potential they have to make a big difference in the local community. I would encourage people to get involved where they can.

"It is brilliant to see that the £2.7million of funding for Worcestershire is supporting innovative and impactful projects across the county."

Businesses can find out more about the grant, and how to apply, by visiting www.wychavon.gov.uk/business.

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