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Cash boost available to employers for apprenticeships

16 January 2012

  • SDS Press Release Archive
  • All Scotland

CBI Scotland Director Iain McMillan today welcomed the Scottish Government's pledge to offer employers up to £2000 when they take on any apprentice.

The Employer Recruitment Incentive (ERI) is delivered by Skills Development Scotland - Scotland's skills body - and supported by the Scottish Government. Eligibility for ERI has been broadened, it provides businesses with a cash injection when they take on a 16-19 year old as an apprentice or offer a Modern Apprenticeship to anyone 20 years or over who has been out of work for a short period.

Iain McMillan said: "This funding will encourage employers to take on trainees during a time when recruitment costs may be a challenging additional burden and it will help more of our young people to enter employment and training.

"CBI Scotland welcomes the broadening of the ERI eligibility to allow more businesses to benefit. We would encourage employers to get involved and take on an apprentice."

Employers can find out more by calling SDS's helpline on 0800 783 6000 or visiting

Damien Yeates, Chief Executive of Skills Development Scotland said: "Modern Apprenticeships enable employers to build a loyal and high performing workforce, and young people to earn while they gain the skills they need to develop a sustainable career.

"It's a tough time for employers everywhere but this announcement will allow them to recruit any 16-19 year old coming out of Scottish schools and colleges and to offset the cost of their wages during the early stages of their Modern Apprenticeship employment."

He added: "Scotland's young people make a valuable contribution to businesses and to the wider economy. Most just need to be given the chance and we hope that by extending the ERI we will encourage more employers to offer our young people that opportunity."

Minister for Youth Employment, Angela Constance said: "I want to see as many of our young people as possible develop the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to be a success in our job market and contribute towards our economy.

"This offer will help convince more companies to give a young person the chance to make their first steps onto the career ladder in 2012. It will also ensure many young people can look forward to a brighter future this year."


Case study

Jamie Gray, Young Apprentice of the Year 2011.


Employer Recruitment Incentive criteria

This broadening of the Employer Recruitment Incentive eligibility builds on the previous offer.

Small companies with up to 49 employees recruiting a MA or an employee matching any of the criteria will attract £2000 towards small business employment support.  This is designed to assist small companies with the particular challenges they face in meeting the miscellaneous costs of recruiting additional staff. Companies with 50 employees or more will receive £1000.

From 21 December 2011 onwards the ERI is available to employers recruiting a Modern Apprentice who matches at least one of the following criteria:

  • Any 16-19 year old who is recruited as a Modern Apprentice or has progressed to a MA from 21 December 2011.
  • Individuals 20 years of age plus and three months unemployed starting a MA from 21 December 2011 onwards.