BUSINESSES could receive up to £2,000 towards the cost of taking on a new apprentice or trainee thanks to a new upskilling grant.

Malvern Hills District Council has introduced the grant as part of the Upskilling Project, which is part-funded by the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund.

The £283,000 project allows businesses in any sector to apply for up to two upskilling grants, as long as the trainees started after April 1, 2021 and before March 31, 2022.

To qualify, businesses need to be based in the Malvern Hills 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 Daniel Walton, executive board member for economic development and tourism, said: “The last couple of years have been tough for our businesses, so I’d encourage them to get their applications in and take advantage of this extra funding.”

Businesses can find out more about the grant, and how to apply, by visiting