Future Workforce Programme web banner with images of successful apprentices and trainees

Use the links below to find the information you need:

Advice on attracting applicants

Benefits of training your staff

Free government training


Free adult education for your workforce

Funded in-house training for your workforce

Pay levels and costs to your business of trainees and apprenticeships

Funding to help with the cost of employing a trainee or apprentice

Malvern Hills Upskilling Grant

List your apprenticeship vacancies

Other training schemes

Advice on attracting applicants

Attracting quality applicants is important for your business. At a time when there are labour shortages, it is even more important you make your business stand out and applying for your vacancies as easy as possible.

  • Make sure your advert is clear, written in plain English and includes important information like job title, pay, location, training opportunities and how you want people to apply. For example, can they email, do they send a CV, can they contact you for a brief chat about the role etc. It is ok not to ask for a CV or application form and instead invite a candidate for a short work trial.
  • Use all opportunities to advertise your vacancy. Free options include your wall or window, job sites and community pages on social media, your own social media channels and your website. If you can afford to look at paid for options including local newspaper jobs sites, popular national job sites, the job centre and recruitment agencies.
  • If you don’t want to sift forms, arrange for an agency or training organisation to do this. Bear in mind they may not send all the applicants to you if there are similar jobs on offer on their books.
  • Value your applicants.  They may well be your future customers or supply chain.  Acknowledge and respond to their application.

  • Be realistic with your expectations. A fully qualified IT person is not going to work for less than £25,000 and fewer people are attracted by first year apprenticeship wages of £4.30.

  • Be realistic about the applicants. Job seekers will often be applying for multiple jobs with each form taking several hours to complete. Be selective in the information you require in order to choose who progresses to your next stage.

Employment website that can advertise your jobs can be found on the jobs page of our website.

If you need help deciding on wage levels and profiles most likely to fill your vacancies quickly then please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Benefits of training your staff

There are several ways to upskill your existing or new staff. The Government and Malvern Hills District Council encourage you and help you to do this with funding packages worth up to £5,000 per trainee. 

Upskilling people to be your Future Workforce enables you to grow according to the needs of your business. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for friendly support, advice and information tailored to your business.

Below is a list of the main apprenticeship, adult training and in-house training schemes available.

Free government training

You can give your staff aged 19 and over time off in the working week to take up free training in the following qualifications:

  • accounting and finance
  • agriculture
  • building and construction
  • business management
  • childcare and early years
  • digital
  • engineering
  • environmental conservation
  • health and social care
  • horticulture and forestry
  • manufacturing technologies
  • mathematics and statistics
  • medicine and dentistry
  • public services
  • science
  • teaching and lecturing
  • transportation operations and maintenance
  • warehousing and distribution

Find out more about free government training courses. These courses are eligible for the upskilling grant of Malvern District Council as they all require at least 16 weeks of one day a week training and result in a qualification.


Apprenticeships are an excellent way to recruit new employees who can be trained and developed to support business needs whilst building their skills and knowledge.

Apprenticeships can also be used to upskill existing employees for new or developing roles. The apprenticeship programme is tailored to the employer – you are in the driving seat.

The Government's guide to recruiting an apprentice gives an overview of the process.

To discuss the process for recruiting an apprentice and to help you decide if it is the best option for your business, please contact Christine Butler, our Economic Development Officer, by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Worcestershire Apprenticeship service will help match your businesses to the appropriate training organisation. You can contact them by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 0300 66366.

The Worcestershire Apprenticeship’s Employer Brochure.pdf provides more information about how you can get involved in creating Worcestershire’s future workforce.  

Key facts about apprenticeships

  • You decide which apprenticeship standard and which individual will meet your business needs and if required which provider will support you through the process.
  • For every £1 spent on an apprentice, they contribute £28 to the employer, an excellent return on investment.
  • You pay the wages of the apprentice – at least £4.30 per hour and a percentage of the cost of training for apprentices for employers who do not pay the apprenticeship levy.
  • There is no cost to the employer for apprenticeship training if they have less than 50 employees, and an apprentice (on the first day of their apprenticeship) is aged 16-18 or 19-24 with an Education, Health and Care plan (EHC) or has been in the care of their local authority.
  • Off-the-job training is required for the purpose of achieving the knowledge, skills, and behaviours of the approved apprenticeship. On-the-job training can include training that is delivered at the apprentice’s normal place of work. It can also include regular day release, block release and special training days/workshops. An apprentice must be on the job for a minimum of 25 hours a week and with 5 hours off the job training.
  • At least 20% of an apprentice’s normal working hours, over the planned duration of the apprenticeship training period must be spent doing off the job training.

Free adult education for your workforce

The Adult Education Budget (AEB) funds the delivery of full and part-time education and training for learners aged 19 and over.

The AEB aims to provide the skills and learning needed to progress in work and life. Employers can support their employees to undertake AEB funded courses by giving them time off. The age of the learner and previous qualification attainment levels determine whether the course can be fully funded, co-funded (a fees contribution) or the uptake of a loan.

The wage rate, hours or location of the business has no effect on their employee’s eligibility for this training.

The funding can be accessed through local training providers or colleges. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.for information on how to access these courses.

These are the free courses available in Worcestershire.

Funded in-house training for your workforce

Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) is a programme developed to upskill employees within small and medium-sized businesses. SSW provides recognised accredited qualifications and bespoke training courses to enhance your employees’ skills, increase the competitiveness of your business and boost the local economy. The programme works with new recruits as well as your existing staff.

Contact Jo O’Sullivan at Serco on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to discuss how this programme can benefit your business.  The recruit or existing employee must be paid at least the minimum or living wage for their age and circumstances.

SSW's network of expert training providers will work with you to develop a bespoke training programme relevant to your needs. There is a wide range of training on offer including:

  • IT and digital skills
  • Business administration
  • Customer service
  • Team leading & project management
  • Health and social care
  • Warehousing and storage
  • Communication

If you are facing an organisational restructure or the prospect of making hard decisions about staff redundancy, the Skills Support for Redundancy (SSR) programme can provide you with funded support which will ensure your employees get access to bespoke training to support them to find suitable employment or their next career.

Both SSR and SSW are co-financed by the Education & Skills Funding Agency and European Social Fund so you can access support at no cost to your business until 2023.

Visit www.serco-ssw.com to find out more about how these programmes can benefit your business.

Pay levels for your trainee and costs to the business of employing an apprentice

From April 2021 you will need to pay apprentices and training the following rates of pay:

  • Anyone aged 23 and over must be paid at least £8.91
  • Anyone aged 21 to 22 must be paid at least £8.36
  • Anyone aged 18 to 20 must be paid at least £6.56
  • Anyone aged 16 to 17 must be paid at least £4.62
  • Apprentices must be paid at least £4.30 in their first year and possibly up until their 19th birthday

You may also have to pay pension and national insurance contributions and for your workplace insurance you will have employee liability costs. There will also be some costs associated with the training of an apprenticeship.  Worcestershire Apprenticeships can advise.

The costs are calculated on the birthday of your trainee or apprentice.

Funding to help with the cost of employing a trainee or apprentice

Government funding for training

You can get help from the Government to pay the training costs of your apprentice(s). How much you will receive will depend on whether or not you pay the Apprenticeship Levy. The levy is paid by businesses with a turnover of £3million or more.

If you do not pay the levy then you will have to pay 5% towards the cost of training your apprentice(s) with the Government paying the rest up to a maximum level.

If you do pay the levy, then you'll get money to spend on training and assessing your apprentices with the Government adding 10%.

Find out more about the apprenticeship levy on the Government's website or contact Worcestershire Apprenticeships on 0300 666 3 666 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Government incentive payment

The Government is offering payments of £3,000 to help with other costs related to taking on an apprentice(s). These are paid by HMRC through your payroll.

To claim the money they must have been employed with your company between 1 April 2021 and 31 January 2022.

They must be a new employee. You cannot claim for someone who was employed by you before 1 April 2021, even if they started an apprenticeship with you after that date. 

The money can be used to pay for anything to support your company's costs such as uniforms, your apprentice's travel or their salary. You do not have to pay the money back.

Find out more and apply for the Government's incentive payments for hiring new apprentices.

document Incentive payments and grant for employers (54 KB)

Malvern Hills Upskilling Grant

Our Upskilling Grant is now part of the Malvern Hills and Wychavon Upskilling Project, funded by the UK Government's UK Community Renewal Fund. 

Your business can receive up to £2,000 towards the cost of taking on an apprentice or trainee.

Find out more about help with the cost of training from the Malvern Hills and Wychavon Upskilling Project.

Construction industry grants

If you are a construction company money may be available through the Construction Industry Training Board levy funding. For more information contact Trevor Oakley at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

T Level, Kickstarter and traineeship grants

Up to £1,000 of government funding may be available to support T Level placements, Kickstarter roles and traineeships. See our section on other training schemes for more information.

List your apprenticeship vacancies

If you have have apprenticeship vacancies but are struggling for applicants then list them with Worcestershire Apprentices and they will refer you to a training provider who will help you recruit the right person for your needs.

List your vacancy with Worcestershire Apprentices.

Other training schemes

Unpaid work experience and internships

If you know you will have future employment opportunities, it may help to introduce people 16 to 20-years-old, who will be in the jobs market in a few years to your business, with no commitment on either side. You can make these opportunities available directly to your local schools or through Kim Cook at Worcestershire Apprentices by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

You could also consider taking on a graduate looking for an internship. For more information contact Worcester University by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Aston University at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

T Levels

T Level qualifications give young people the technical skills they need to build their careers. To achieve a T Level pass every student has to complete a substantial Industry Placement with a local employer as part of their course.

Employers can claim A £1,000 payment from the Government for hosting a T Level industry placement that starts between 27 May 2021 and 31 July 2022.

This payment is available to any employer that can offer a suitable industry placement for the following T Level subjects:

  • Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction,
  • Digital Production, Design and Development
  • Education and Childcare

Find out more about T Levels and the incentive payment.

Malvern Hills College is running a T Level course in IT based at the Malvern Hills Science Park. To contact the college for placement offers please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Kickstart Scheme

The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to create new 6 month job placements for 16 to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment.

Employers of all sizes can apply for funding which covers:

Employers can spread the start date of the job placements up until the end of December 2021. You’ll get funding until 30 June 2022 if a young person starts their job on 31 December 2021.

 Find out more about The Kickstart Scheme.


Traineeships are a learning and work placement programme funded by the Government for a maximum of one year.

They allow you to get to know and work with young people before recruiting them as apprentices by offering a minimum of 70 hours of work experience.

The training provider will design the programme with you so that it suits both your business and the needs of the trainee.

The benefits of a traineeship programme for your business include giving your current employees experience in training and mentoring, helping you to increase capacity and productivity by developing a loyal and talented workforce.

Employers who make new work placement opportunities available may also receive an incentive payment of £1,000 per learner, for up to 10 learners. 

For more information and to offer a placement contact 07404 895438 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..