Portsmouth businesses are being offered thousands of pounds worth of free apprenticeship training.

The funding, from Portsmouth City Council, can be for new employees or existing staff looking to boost their skills.

Companies can get funding for one or more apprenticeships.

The offer is open to firms in the city with an annual payroll of under £3m. The deadline for applying is 12 July.

The funding comes from the council's apprenticeship levy pot, which larger employers accumulate under a government scheme. The money can be shared with smaller employers who would otherwise have to pay towards apprenticeship training

Cllr Steve Pitt, Cabinet Member for Culture and City Development at the council, said: "This is an amazing opportunity if you run a small or medium-sized business in the city.

"The fund is open for applications now and I would encourage businesses to get their requests in soon."

For more details, and an application form, businesses should email apprenticeships@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

Some terms and conditions apply.