Funding Programs


Our staff provide guidance to registered clients, who meet certain criteria, in completing applications for financial assistance through the Canada-Nova Scotia Labour Market Development Agreement (LMDA) under the direction of Employment Nova Scotia (ENS) listed below.

  •  Self-Employment is an employment program of Employment Nova Scotia that assists unemployed Labour Market Development Agreement LMDA eligible individuals to create jobs for themselves by starting a business for more information  Start Your Own Business
  • The Skills Development (SD) program provides unemployed, Labour Market Development Agreement (LMDA) eligible participants, who need to learn additional basic to advanced skills, development training to help them obtain the skills they need to find work. SD participants should be those who lack marketable skills and need new or additional occupational skills in order to improve their employment prospects but are otherwise job-ready. Participants requesting support through this program attend training on a full time basis and training may be approved through public or private training providers. Return To School
  • If you’re unemployed and looking for work, you can use the START Program to help promote yourself to potential employers.  You can apply to receive a START Marketing Letter from Employment Nova Scotia. You can use the letter in your job search to tell employers that they may be eligible to receive funding from the START Program if they hire you.  Work Experience
  • The Job Creation Partnerships (JCP) is a program designed to support projects that will provide LMDA eligible participants with meaningful work experience that will improve their employment prospects.  While project activities should benefit both the participant and the community, the focus of JCP is to aid participants in acquiring work experience that will assist them in finding full time employment.  Job Creation Partnership
  • Fast Forward, is a federal initiative that encourages unemployed EI claimants to improve their skills during periods of unemployment. Successful applicants can continue to receive federal Employment Insurance (EI) benefits while attending approved training opportunities. You must have a current claim for Regular Benefits or have applied to Service Canada for EI Regular Benefits before you apply. Fast Forward


  • START Program, provides employers incentives to hire Nova Scotians requiring work experience with a labour need,  Support to employers is to allow time for the new employee to develop the skills and abilities of a new employee, maximize their potential and contribute to the ongoing success of the enterprise.  {Incentives can be used to pay for the individual’s wages, MERC, training costs or other related costs associated with hiring of a new employee.}   Employment Nova Scotia – 1-877-223-0888  START for Employers

Eligible Employers:

All businesses, organizations (Not for profit and Social Enterprises) that have businesses locations and jobs in NS.  Companies with headquarters outside of NS are eligible only if they have a physical location in Nova Scotia.  You are a small to medium sized enterprise.

  • START Apprenticeship, the objective of the Apprenticeship START program is to encourage employers to register and employ apprentices.  {Incentives can be used to pay for the individual’s wages, MERC, training costs or other related costs associated with hiring of a new employee.}Employment Nova Scotia – 1-877-223-0888

Eligible Employers:

    • All businesses, organizations (not-for-profit and social enterprises) that have business locations and jobs in Nova Scotia.
    • Focus on small to medium-sized enterprises.
    • Companies with headquarters outside of Nova Scotia are eligible to apply only if they also have a physical location in Nova Scotia.
  • Graduate to Opportunity, provides salary contributions to employers to offset the cost of hiring a recent graduate and assist post-secondary graduates to find career opportunities in Nova Scotia.  The employer must pay the recent graduate an annual salary of at least $30,000.Economic and Rural Development and Tourism 1-800-424-5418

Eligible employers (must meet at least one of these criteria):

    • A company with fewer than 100 employees, and / or
    • A start-up company, incorporated within 2 years of the application date, and / or
    • Social enterprise, not-for-profit organization, or registered charity, with recognized standing.

Ineligible employers:

    • Federal, provincial, municipal governments, and their agencies
    • Health authorities
    • School boards
    • Private sector companies with over 100 or more employees, incorporated for more than 2 years

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Are your employees up to speed?   Every 3 years, a staggering 50% of all workplace skills will change, leaving far to many business with a profit-eroding ‘skills gap’. Can your enterprise update critical employee skills fast enough to keep pace and protect productivity and profitability?

On Demand Skills. On Demand.

    • Fastest way to bridge your skill gaps, for FREE! (limited offer)
    • Training on the most popular skills, proven to boost your business productivity
    • Recharge existing training programs with the flexibility of eLearning
    • Increase employee retention and job relevance with just-in-time, on-demand training
    • Build, Assign, and Track training in your Company’s Private Learning Network

Read Essential Skills Program FAQs here

  •  WORKPLACE INITIATIVES – Department of Labour and Advanced Education

The Workplace Initiatives Division is dedicated to building a vibrant and adaptable workforce by partnering with employers and industry to ensure Nova Scotia has the skills we need to succeed in the workplace.

They have created a suite of HR Solutions programs to make sure you are prepared for the challenges of human resources management including how to find, manage and retain the right employees. The HR Solutions featured on this site have been developed to support businesses such as yours to compete more effectively in today’s economy.

To find out more about the programs offered visit their website here

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