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Scotland's Employer Recruitment Incentive

Scotland's Employer Recruitment Incentive was launched in June 2015 with a commitment to assist employers in supporting young people into jobs.

The scheme was paused in December 2015, amid uncertainty following the Chancellor's spending review and how it would affect the Scottish budget.

SERI resumed on 1st April 2016, with a sharper focus on the job prospects of young people who face the greatest barriers to employment.

The element specifically targeted at small employers to recruit a Modern Apprentice will not be part of the SERI offer from April, unless the MA meets the targeted group criteria Q&A Annex A. The programme will reopen to starts from 1 April 2016 to 31 January 2017.

SERI was developed in partnership with local government and in consultation with Skills Development Scotland (SDS), business and third sector organisations.  It will deliver our commitment to key Developing Scotland's Young Workforce recommendations by simplifying the recruitment incentive offer, focussing on those young people who face the greatest barriers to employment.

SERI Delivery and offer:

SERI is administered on behalf of Scottish Government by SDS and delivered by Scotland's 32 Local Authorities.  It offers employers up to £4,000 when their company commits to a new job or new MA. The funding is available as a contribution toward the additional costs of recruiting and sustaining a young person during their first 52 weeks of sustainable employment.

The funding could be utilised in a number of ways including additional supervisory costs, training, initial travel to work costs or wages. No single use is prescribed.

If the company pays the young person the living wage there will be an additional payment of £500. This incentive is not a handout to companies - it is a co-investment in young people with a view to helping businesses grow.

Employers should consult their Local Authority (LA) if they wish to apply for SERI.
Further information on SERI and LA contact information can be found on here on OurSkillsforce website.


A private business or third sector organisation of any size recruiting a young person who is 16-29 years old, fitting one or more of the eligible groups (Q&A Annex A), is eligible for SERI support, providing they can demonstrate capacity to offer sustained employment. This can include recruitment into a MA (in line with existing MA programme rules). Public Sector employers are not eligible to apply.

Additional In-Work Support package - Open Doors Consortium:

A targeted group of young people (disabled young people, care leavers, carers, and ex-offenders) will also have access to an additional in-work support package, delivered by expert Third Sector organisations.

This additional in-work support will be tailored to the needs of the individual and offers specialist employer services such as:

  • Accredited training
  • Enhanced monitoring and in-work support
  • Independent travel training
  • Job coaching and workplace reviews
  • Purchase of basic workplace clothing and equipment
  • Mentoring employers and staff in support strategies
  • Information on benefit/in-work benefit checks.

Local Authorities should follow the referral process within the SDS operating rules. Please contact on 0131 220 8255  or 07889 456 303, to make a referral to Open Doors or for more information on the In-Work support package.