Highland Employment Recruitment Offer (HERO)

About the scheme

Highland Employment Recruitment Offer (HERO) is funded by the Highland Council and the Scottish Government under the No One Left Behind and Young Person's Guarantee Funding Streams. It helps people of all work ages and with the greatest barriers to employment secure and stay in jobs.

If you are a private (including sole trader /self employed) or third sector employer with less than 50 employees in Highland you can apply to HERO. The fund will help with the costs of recruiting and employing someone who fits the criteria.

The fund can cover the costs of employing someone including:

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

We can only accept applications directly from Employers. We will not accept applications from third party organisations/recruitment agencies.



  • Have less than 50 employees in the Highland Council area
  • Have an operational base within the Highland Council area
  • Are not planning redundancies
  • Can only apply for a maximum of two HERO grants per business and 4 per business Group
  • Will not be receiving any other public funds to support the creation of the post (if you are looking to obtain other targeted funding for specific client needs such as disability adaptations please let us know)



    • Have not filled the post which is subject to the application before written approval has been provided
    • Do NOT need to have a recruit identified at the initial Employer application stage
    • Must have appropriate employer’s liability insurance


    • Are within the Highland Council area
    • Must be for a minimum of 16 hours a week and be either:
      • a permanent contract
      • fixed term contract for 52 weeks or more (See note A)
      • Modern and Graduate Apprenticeship 
    • Must pay at least the age appropriate National Minimum Wage/Living Wage
    • HERO is to be used to fill vacancies and create new and additional roles. HERO cannot be used to create a job to cover sickness or maternity leave or replace a redundant post
    • Cannot be used for someone who is already in post.
    • Will be recruited for and the recruit will start working with you within three months from the date of the HERO approval unless the recruit is currently on a Kick Start or Community Job Scotland Placement within your organisation.
    • Must pay a salary greater than the funding received.
    • By Law, have a signed written contract of employment within 2 months of starting and a copy of which must be provided to Highland Council. Business Gateway will be able to provide free advice and support in providing contracts if required – please see contact details at the end of this guide.
    • Must not be a Zero Hour contract
    • Company directors and partners are not eligible for support


    You can employ someone who meets ALL of the following criteria:

    • Are unemployed or are completing a paid work experience placement such as Kickstart and Community Jobs Scotland. Individuals who have been issued with a formal redundancy notice are also eligible (evidence will be required)
    • Have not left another job voluntarily to take up an opportunity supported by HERO
    • Are aged between 16-67 years
    • Are not currently attending school or further education at the same time as taking up the post being supported through HERO
    • Have the right to live and work in the UK
    • Have their permanent residence within the Highland Council area

    *Note A: Applications would normally be for at least a 52 week post however. Highland Council is prepared to be flexible in relation to seasonality where two business could come together to offer at least 52 weeks of work between them. It is up to businesses to determine how they do this.  The Council is only able to deal directly / receive an application from one seasonal business who may be applying for more than one seasonal business.

    Grant Level and Payment Structure

    HERO offers an employer up to £6000 over 52 weeks. The level of grant is based on the contracted hours for each employee as they start employment.

    Part Time:16 -24 hours per week = £4000 over 12 months

    • After 4 weeks
      • No payment for less than 4 weeks: £500
    • After 13 weeks
      • No pro-rata payment between 4 and 13 weeks :£1000
    • After 26 weeks
      • No payment for less than 26 weeks: £1000
    • After 52 weeks
      • No pro-rata payment between 26-52 weeks: £1500

    Full Time: 25 hours or above = £6000 over 12 months

    • After 4 weeks
      • No payment for less than 4 weeks: £500
    • After 13 weeks
      • No pro-rata payment between 4 and 13 weeks :£1750
    • After 26 weeks
      • No payment for less than 26 weeks: £1750
    • After 52 weeks
      • No pro-rata payment between 26-52 weeks :£2000