Edinburgh’s Employer Recruitment Incentives (EERI)

About the incentive

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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 £8000 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
  • to 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.
  • to 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.
  • to 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 for new created jobs or apprenticeships. The fund can cover
  • wages
  • training
  • travel
  • other work-related costs.

The amount 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 weekpaid at real living wage rates or above = £8,000


  • apprenticeships between 16-24 hours per week, paid between national minimum wage/living Wage and real living wage rates = £2,000
  • apprenticeships above 25 per hours per week, paid between national minimum wage/living Wage and real living wage rates = £4,000

If apprentices are paid the real living wage rates or above the standard funding amounts will apply. Apprentices must be completing a recognised apprenticeship qualification. 

We encourage all employers to embed the Scottish Government's Fair Work First guidance. 

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

About the incentive

  • We pay the incentive directly to you over the course of 52 weeks
  • It applies to new job starts up to 31 March 2024
  • New employees should not start the post until funding is agreed

For a job to be eligible for funding it must

  • offer a permenant contract of employment*
  • guarantee a minimum of 16 hours employment each week
  • pay the real living wage or above for the duration of the funded period with a committment to sustain the employment beyond the funded period* 
  • 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.
  • by law, employees must receive a written contract of employment within two months of starting and we will need a copy of this.

* If  the post is for a fixed-term apprenticeship then you must offer a contract of employment with an additional 6 months beyond the apprenticeship length, however national minimum wage rates or higher would be eligible. 

Eligible groups

You can employ someone who meets all the following criteria:

  • is unemployed
  • is 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 contact 0131 529 3139.


EERI is for new job starts starting between 1 July 2023 and 31 March 2024. You must submit an application for each individual you wish to employ. There are a limited number of places so we will deal with applications on a first come, first served basis. 

All applications for jobs starting within the incentive period must be completed, approved before the employee starts and the employee starts their employment by 31 March 2024.

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 if you are proceeding with employment.

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

Rules and deadlines

Funds are for new job starting between 1 July 2023 and 31 March 2024. The employee must be in post by 31 March 2024.

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 6 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 contact 0131 529 3139.

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