RESEARCH shows businesses across Wychavon and Malvern are actively looking to expand and take on more staff, increasingly turning to apprenticeships to fill vacancies.
The findings are part of the Malvern Hills and Wychavon Upskilling Project business survey, which was aiming to establish the skills and training needs of local employers.
In total, 665 companies across the two districts filled in the survey, with just over 40 per cent saying they were currently looking to recruit or train staff or change or expand their business.
An overwhelming 82 per cent of businesses agreed an apprentice would help fill their recruitment/training needs in the next 24 months.
The responses also showed 53 per cent of businesses believed they currently had a skills shortage while 31.9 per cent had at least one vacancy to fill.
To help address these concerns, both councils are investing more than £283,000 from the Government’s UK Community Renewal Fund in skills, training and employment opportunities.
Businesses can receive an Upskilling Grant of up to £2,000 towards the cost of taking on a new apprentice or trainee.
Businesses in any sector can apply for up to two upskilling grants, as long as the trainees started or start after April 1 last year and before March 31 2022.
Payments of £500 are on offer to anyone starting an apprenticeship or training course to help encourage people to consider on-the-job training as a route into work.
Support payments of up to £1,000 are also available to help apprentices and trainees cover the cost of travel, equipment, clothing and other associated expenses.
Coun Richard Morris, Executive Board Member for Economic Growth and Tourism on Wychavon District Council, said: “We know how tough the last couple of years have been for businesses and we’re excited to see how many are now looking to expand, which is great news for the area.
“The Upskilling Project is all about supporting their ambitions.”
Visit wychavon.gov.uk/business for more.