Financial Incentives and Support Mechanisms

Financial Incentives and Support Mechanisms

There are a wide range of financial support mechanisms available to both organisations and individuals, when it comes to employing someone with an additional support need, especially for young people entering the workforce. The main funding resources are detailed below:

Scotland’s Employer Recruitment Incentive (SERI)

Scotland’s Employer Recruitment Incentive (SERI) is available to Scottish businesses who want to recruit young people. The SERI is a Skills Development Scotland service, aimed at delivering the Scottish Government’s commitment to target unemployed young people facing additional barriers and to reduce youth unemployment by 40% before 2021.

The SERI provides employers with a financial contribution towards the additional costs of recruiting and sustaining a young person (aged 16-29) in employment. The incentive is also available if your new employee enters into a Modern Apprenticeship. A payment of up to £3,963 is available and you can receive a further £500 if you pay the Living Wage. You are free to use the funds in any way you wish to support your employee (e.g. supervisory costs, training, initial travel to work costs or even wages).

The SERI is available to all organisations and it is the responsibility of the employing organisation to complete applications to access these funds. The Project SEARCH team would be able to provide support and advice throughout this process. Further information about SERI is available at:

Access to Work

Access to Work is a Government initiative developed to pay for practical support to help people with a disability, health or mental health condition to overcome obstacles at work. It can be used to help people start work, stay in work, or make a move at work.

Access to Work can provide the following types of assistance:

  • It could pay for a communicator if the young person is deaf or has a hearing impairment
  • It could provide specialist equipment (or alterations to existing equipment) to suit particular work needs, especially if needed due to a disability
  • It could fund a support worker or job coach to provide practical help at work
  • It could pay for disability awareness training for colleagues of the young person

If you recruit a Project SEARCH Intern who requires such support, the Project SEARCH team will support her/him in making the funding application.

Further information about Access to Work

funding is available at:

SCVO and Community Jobs Scotland Funding

At a time when unemployment is at its highest level in decades, the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is committed to providing jobs through employment initiatives and supporting the third sector to provide work experience placements and opportunities, which help build skills.

Membership of the SCVO will provide you with access to information about funding opportunities and sources as they become available. These funds could be used to employ a Project SEARCH Intern.

The SCVO and combined projects have now supported over 6,500 young unemployed people into work, most of these through Scottish Government’s Community Jobs Scotland (CJS) programme. CJS jobs have benefitted young people with a wide range of barriers to employment, including:

  • Lack of work experience
  • Low skills levels
  • Disabilities
  • Long term health conditions
  • Care leavers
  • Ex-offenders
  • Unemployed graduates

The SCVO offers employers the opportunity to become a Community Jobs Scotland (CJS) Employer, which would entitle you to receive £5,000 towards the cost of an Intern’s wages, National Insurance contributions, support, supervision, induction and training. You could apply for this funding to create a job for a Project SEARCH Intern.

Becoming a Community Jobs Scotland employer has many benefits;

  • A minimum fund of £5,000 for each completed CJS contract. This is to cover the employee wage and National Insurance, support and supervision, induction and training.
  • It improves the level of service your organisation can deliver
  • It provides mentoring or supervisory experience for existing staff
  • It widens the pool of people your organisation would usually recruit from
  • It helps you demonstrate your commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility and to supporting young people.

Further information on SCVO and CJS funding, including details on how to apply, is available as follows:

Pastoral Care Support

The disability and additional support need of each Intern will still exist upon completion of the programme - the young people that are supported through Project SEARCH will require lifelong support in all areas of their lives. The support that is required could be very minimal, but it needs to be pro-active, for example, anticipating issues that may arise from changes at work. The Project SEARCH team will be available to support Interns who enter work and their employer whenever pastoral care support is required. Additional support can also be offered from the appropriate local authority supported employment service.

While at work, Interns may come across scenarios that they do not understand, for example, work place humour, or unwritten work place rules. The Project SEARCH team will also be available to support you in developing ad-hoc training in response to any issues or scenarios that arise in the workplace.

Disability Etiquette in the Workplace

General Interaction
  • When introduced to people with disabilities, it is appropriate to offer to shake hands. People with limited hand use or an artificial limb usually shake hands.
  • When offering assistance, wait until the offer is accepted or rejected. If accepted, listen to the person and/or ask for instructions. Asking questions about how best to assist is fine. If rejected, do not feel insulted or offended it just means the individual does not need assistance
  • Be considerate of extra time it might take for some people with disabilities to complete certain tasks. Give unhurried attention to people who have difficulty speaking. Do not pretend to understand, and ask for repetition if you do not.
  • Be aware that many people can have disabilities that are not apparent. Just because you cannot see a disability does not mean it doesn’t exist
  • Make community events available to everyone. Hold them in accessible locations. When planning a meeting or other event, try to anticipate specific accommodations a person with a disability might need.
  • Living with a disability is an adjustment that most people have to make at some point in their lives and does not require exaggerated compliments or pity
  • Relax. Anyone can make mistakes. Offer an apology if you forget some courtesy and keep a sense of humour.
  • People with a disability usually do not want to discuss it as a first topic of conversation
  • Use a normal speaking tone and style. If someone needs you to speak in a louder voice, he or she will ask you to do so.
  • Speak calmly, slowly and directly. Your facial expressions, gestures and body movements help in understanding.
  • Asking personal questions about someone’s disability is unprofessional. Enquiries should be limited to information necessary to provide adjustments.
  • Remember that people with disabilities, like all people, are experts on themselves. They know what they like, what they do not like and what they can and cannot do
  • Using common expressions (“See you later”, I’ve got to run now” or “Have you heard about….”) is fine even if these phrases are at odds with the person’s disability. People with disabilities use these phrases regularly. Just be aware that some people, particularly those with Autistic Spectrum Disorders, may take your remarks literally.
  • Avoid excessive praise when people with disabilities accomplish normal tasks. Similarly, avoid terms that imply that people with disabilities are overly courageous, brave or special.