A TECH firm from Malvern has earned praise for its efforts training apprentices.

Payara, based at the Malvern Hills Science Park, was visited by West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin, who found out more about the company's degree-level digital skills apprenticeships.

Mrs Baldwin discussed the way the company develops young people by allowing them to earn a degree-level qualification without going to university.

She met with apprentices Kalin Chan and James Hillyard to learn about their work and how the company works.

She said: "Payara is a great company with a fantastic track record, and I was really pleased to see the company get proper recognition with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

"I have known Steve and Julia Millidge for many years and have been impressed by the way they have taken this company from a small start-up to a major global business.

"By investing in degree level apprenticeships, they are giving young people the option to earn while they learn and get a top-quality start in their careers.

"From our conversations, it is clear to me that some people are much happier getting straight into the workplace and apprenticeships like this offer relevant training and get them on the pathway to well paid jobs."

Payara has been a long-term investor in degree apprenticeships for entry careers in IT, and has worked with Aston University for a number of years, offering the "Digital and Technology Solutions" course.

Julia Millidge, Payara HR manager, added: "Our apprentices have the best of both worlds - degree level academic tuition from Aston, and practical hands-on experience working alongside industry experts as colleagues.

"This dual aspect to their learning enables them to become proficient Software Engineers very quickly which traditional university students can't. Payara is very proud of our apprentices, and the entry into the industry we have been able to give them."