Edinburgh’s Employer Recruitment Incentives (EERI)

Get help to hire The Edinburgh Guarantee

About the incentive

Edinburgh’s Employer Recruitment Incentives (EERI) helps people with the greatest barriers to employment, into and staying in jobs. It is funded and administered by us, in line with the Scottish Government’s No One Left Behind ethos. You can apply for up to £8,000 to help with the costs of recruiting and employing someone who fits the eligibility criteria for the fund. If you are successful in applying to the incentive you will receive the money direct.

The objectives of EERI are to positively contribute to a fairer more inclusive economy and to help address many of the deep-seated challenges of inequality and disadvantage within the Scottish labour market. The specific objectives are to

  • reduce the number of people unemployed
  • create a person centred, more joined up, flexible and responsive form of support
  • provide a seamless set of interventions that complement each other to ensure resources are co-ordinated to improve opportunities and outcomes
  • prevent and reduce the number of people long term unemployed
  • support more people into sustainable, greener and fairer employment, and have due regard to tackling inequality in all its forms including occupational segregation
  • increase the number of people in employment who are engaged in learning and skills development
  • increase the number of people achieving qualifications
  • reduce levels of in work poverty by providing security of pay and contract
  • support career progression
  • increase the number of people accessing apprenticeships with a specific focus on equalities groups
  • stimulate demand for employment within the labour market.

Download the employer factsheet

Who is the fund for

Employers from all sectors are eligible for EERI and there is no restriction on the size of employer, but priority will be given to private SMEs and third sector organisations including social enterprises. You should use EERI to fill vacancies and create new and additional jobs. The incentive can help with the costs of recruiting and employing someone who fits the criteria.

If your application is successful you can receive up to £8,000. The fund can cover

  • wages
  • training
  • travel
  • other work-related costs.

Eligible groups

The fund is available to employers of all sizes and sectors as long as you employ someone who meets all the following criteria:

  • Unemployed
  • Aged between 16 to 67 years
  • Lives in Edinburgh (EH1 to EH17, EH28 to EH30)
  • Has the right to live and work in the UK
  • Falls within the fund’s eligible groups

For a full list of eligible groups please download the employer pack.

Download the full list of barriers with definitions. For assistance in viewing this document, please phone

0131 529 3139.

Rules and deadlines

You can’t apply for funding for someone who has already started working for you. It must be for a new job or vacancy and the person must be out of work at the time of applying.

Employees must have a contract of employment for a minimum 16 hours per week, and be either a

  • permanent contract
  • fixed term contract with an additional six months for apprentices
  • modern or graduate apprenticeship.

Zero-hour contracts will not be eligible.

EERI funding should not

  • be used to create a job to cover a period of existing staff sickness or maternity leave
  • be used to replace a post from which someone was made redundant
  • duplicate costs that will be paid for by other programmes such as Job Start Payment and Access to Work. 

Download the employer information pack. For assistance in viewing this document, please phone

0131 529 3139.

For a job to be eligible for funding it must

  • offer a permanent contract of employment
  • guarantee a minimum of 16 hours employment each week
  • pay the real Living Wage or above
  • pay a salary greater than funding received
  • have a permanent contract of employment or a fixed term contract for the duration of the apprenticeship. Companies who employ a person on zero-hour contracts will not be eligible.
    • If the post is for a fixed-term apprenticeship, then you must offer a contract of employment with an additional six months beyond the apprenticeship length. 
  • by law, have a written contract of employment for employees within two months of starting and we will need a copy of this.

You can make up to two applications for funding per financial year. Any additional applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

  • We pay the incentive directly to you over the course of 52 weeks.
  • It applies to new job starts up to 31 March 2025.
  • New employees must not start the post until funding is agreed.

The amount of funding you receive is based on the hourly rate of pay and weekly contracted hours for each employee.

  • 16 to 20 contracted hours per week, paid at real Living Wage rates or above = £4,000
  • 21 to 29 contracted hours per week, paid at real Living Wage rates or above = £6,000
  • 30 or more contracted hours per week, paid at real Living Wage rates or above = £8,000

Apprentices must also receive the real Living Wage rates or above and be completing a recognised apprenticeship qualification to be eligible for funding. 

We require all employers to embed the Scottish Government's Fair Work First guidance into their workplace. 


Funds are available between 1 April 2024 and 31 March 2025. There is a limited amount of funding, so this will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

All applications for jobs starting within the incentive period must be completed and approved before the employee starts work for you, and the employee must start their employment before 31 March 2025.

The deadline for new applications is 15 March 2025.

You must submit an application for each individual you wish to employ. 

We aim to give you a decision on your application within 10 working days. As soon as you have our decision you are free to issue a start date to your new employee that suits you both.

If you would like help to advertise your vacancy, we can provide free support to do this on The Edinburgh Guarantee, please let us know if you would like this support.

Apply for an EERI fund

No One Left Behind

Edinburgh’s Employer Recruitment Incentive (EERI)

Address: The City of Edinburgh Council, 1.4,
Waverley Court,
4 East Market Street,

Telephone: 0131 529 3139