The START program encourages employers to hire Nova Scotians requiring work resulting in good jobs for Nova Scotians and good employees for employers


As of March 2, 2015, employers will be required to complete and submit the START Supplemental Form with their application. This form provides additional information which will be discussed during the assessment of their application which will streamline their submission.

The Supplemental Form is being retired in June 2019. Please contact your local ENS Office if you experience issues downloading the form.

The START Supplemental form can be found here.


Program Information

Program Objective

The START Program will encourage employers to hire Nova Scotians requiring work experience.

Financial incentives will be provided to employers with a labour need willing to support ready-to-work Nova Scotians. Incentives will vary depending on the type of employment offered and the skill level of the employee.


Who delivers START?

Employment Nova Scotia will lead this program.

To make a new application to the Apprenticeship START program, please visit the Apprenticeship website here

Eligibility Information

Am I eligible for participation in the START Program?

You may be eligible for START if:

    • You are unemployed
    • Canadian citizens or permanent residents legally entitled to work in Canada and are a Nova Scotia resident; or

You are an international graduate who meets eligibility requirements.


START is available to:

All businesses, organizations (Not for profit and Social Enterprises) that have business locations and jobs in Nova Scotia. The START program has a 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.


Financial incentives can be provided to various Nova Scotia employers that have a labour need and that are willing to support ready-to-work Nova Scotians. Incentives vary as it depends on the type of employment offered and the skill level of the employee. If you have identified that this program is something that your company may be eligible and you would like additional information, prior to applying, please feel free to contact your local Employment Nova Scotia Office.


Application Information

How do I apply?
    • As part of the application process, it is necessary for you to receive an employment assessment and develop a Return to Work Action Plan with a case manager. The case manager's decision is required before Employment Nova Scotia can assess your application. Please refer to the list of Nova Scotia Works Centres or the list of Specialized Employment Programs to find an organization that provides Case Management in your area. The Employment Assistance Service provider can guide you through your completion of the application for START Program.
    • Organization applications can be submitted online using the LaMPSs system and will be reviewed by ENS staff. Application assistance will be provided to employers by ENS when required.
    • To register for the LaMPSS system, please call 1-877-223-0888 to obtain a registration package or click here to download a copy of the LaMPSS Organization Registration forms.
    • For more details on the application process and program eligibility/information please download the START Program Guidelines.
    • Employers will also be required to complete the START Supplemental Information Form


What else do I need to know?

  • Businesses and Not for Profit organizations with an identified vacancy or need are eligible for support. Support to employers will enable them to take the time they need to develop the skills and abilities of a new employee, maximizing their potential and contributing to the ongoing success of the enterprise.
  • Incentive amounts will be determined by Employment Nova Scotia and the incentive amount received by an employer will be evaluated on the following factors:
    • *Employment Nova Scotia Clients with lack of work experience
    • *Employment Nova Scotia clients with challenges that prevent labour market attachment
    • The employer is in a priority sector in Nova Scotia (e.g. ocean technology, information and communication technology, financial services, clean technology, life sciences, aerospace and defense)
    • Other factors may apply
  • Incentives can be used to pay for individual’s wages, MERC, training costs or other related costs associated with hiring of a new employee.
  • START Program Fact Sheet

NOTE:If an individual is hired before the employer’s application has been approved by Employment Nova Scotia, the application will not be eligible for funding.”

*Employment Nova Scotia Clients are individuals who are developing or are currently working on a Return to Work Action Plan with a career practitioner at an Employment Assistance Service Provider. Please refer to the list of Careers Nova Scotia Centers to find an organization that provides Case Management in your area.


- Sample START Activity Report for Employers
- Sample START Financial Report for Employers
- START Supplemental Information Form (MANDATORY effective March 2, 2015)


Contact Information