Hiring Incentives & Supports

The Province of Nova Scotia, the Federal Government and other Agencies and Associations have incentive programs that may cover a portion of your next new hire’s salary.

Provincial Programs

  • Graduate to Opportunity (GTO) hiring incentive offers a salary incentive to help Nova Scotia employers hire recent graduates.  Employers receive 25% of the first year’s salary – 35% if the new grad is a member of designated diversity group – and 12.5% of the second year’s salary. 
  • The Innovate to Opportunity hiring incentive helps Nova Scotia employers hire a recent master’s or PhD graduate to help their business become more innovative and export-oriented.
  • The Co-op Education Incentive (CO-OP) provides wage assistance to private sector, government-funded and non-profit organizations offering career-related work experiences for university and community college co-operative students.
  • The START program provides a financial incentive to help small and medium sized enterprises in Nova Scotia hire Nova Scotians who need work experience. Contact a Case Manager at a Careers Nova Scotia Centre near you.
  • The Student Summer Skills Incentive (SKILLS) offers wage assistance to non-profit organizations that provide summer jobs to post-secondary students.
  • The Student Career Skills Development Program (SCSDP) offers wage assistance to non-profit organizations that offer career-related summer jobs for students going to university or college in the fall.
  • The Apprenticeship Agency offers START for Apprentices to businesses, not-for-profit organizations and social enterprises with business locations and jobs in Nova Scotia.
  • NS Office of Immigration helps people immigrate to Nova Scotia through several streams such as the Entrepreneurs Stream, the International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream, Skilled Worker stream, and the Express Entry stream.  They provide information for employers about hiring permanent residents, temporary foreign workers and international students.  
  • The Nova Scotia Department of Energy’s Program for Students provides wage subsidies up to 50 per cent (to a maximum of $7.50/hour) to eligible companies to hire co-op students, non–co-op students, and recent graduates.
  • Licensed child care facility or day care centre may be eligible for the Early Childhood Development Continuing Education Program.  $13 an hour is paid towards the salary of a substitute so that he/she, or other employees, can take approved courses in Early Childhood Education during working hours.

Federal Programs

  • Canada Summer Jobs provides funding to help employers create full-time summer job opportunities for students. Not-for-profit organizations, public-sector employers and small businesses with 50 or fewer employees are eligible to apply. 
  • Career Focus provides financial assistance to companies or not for profit organizations to provide career-related work experience to young people between the ages of 15 and 30. The business or non-profit organization hires 8 or more recruits (exceptions for rural or remote regions).
  • The National Research Council Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) delivers Youth programs under the Youth Employment Strategy.  financial assistance is available to help small and medium-sized research hire a post-secondary graduate between the ages of 15 and 30.
  • The Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities is designed to assist persons with disabilities, not eligible for Employment Insurance, gain or maintain employment or become self-employed. 
  • Young Canada Works provides funding to support businesses and non-profit organizations that provide services in English and French to hire an intern for up to 1 year.
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