News release

Program Connects Graduates with First Jobs

A new provincial program will connect post-secondary graduates with their first full-time job in Nova Scotia.

Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Michel Samson launched the new Graduate to Opportunity program today, Feb. 6, in Dartmouth.

"Graduate to Opportunity positions the private sector to lead the way in creating meaningful career opportunities for talented new graduates - and gives the next generation a running start to their careers," said Mr. Samson. "This is just one of the many ways government is taking action to attract and retain smart, young people."

Graduate to Opportunity provides eligible employers with a percentage of the salary paid to a new graduate - 25 per cent in the first year, and 12.5 per cent in the second.

The incentive is available to Nova Scotia-based small- and medium-sized businesses with fewer than 100 employees, startup companies, social enterprises, not-for-profits and registered charities.

"To allow new graduates to find employment in Nova Scotia is a welcome opportunity," said Jamie Thomson, chief operating officer, Hurricane Industrial Equipment. "This program will help smaller companies like ours, to put jobs in place for new graduates that we may have not been able to afford before, and give us the opportunity to develop and retain new talent."

Government has provided $1.6 million in funding for Graduate to Opportunity in year one, increasing to $6.5 million by year three.

"I'm from Western Canada, and came to Nova Scotia for university," said Taylor Quinn, International Development Studies student. "I plan to stay in Nova Scotia after graduation, because I have found there are lots of opportunities for ambitious young people here. This program will help many new graduates get a foot in the door, but more than that, it is one step in the right direction to change the narrative of negativity that most express here in Nova Scotia."

The incentive applies to graduates of any post-secondary institution in the last year. The recent graduate can be from anywhere, but must live in Nova Scotia to participate.

The employer must pay a minimum base salary of $30,000 in order to qualify. Employers who participate in the Graduate to Opportunity program can also access additional government support, including training incentives.

Students are now able to access a self-promotion toolkit to support their job search. The kit is available online, and includes a letter to employers, program information, and an application form. For more information, visit www.novascotia.ca/econ/gto .

FOR BROADCAST USE:

A new provincial government program connects post- secondary graduates with their first full-time job in Nova Scotia.

Graduate to Opportunity provides an incentive to employers to hire new graduates on a full-time basis. Employers can receive 25 per cent of salary costs back in the first year, and 12-and-a-half per cent in the second year.

Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Michel Samson says the program positions the private sector to lead the way in employing young people, and gives graduates a running start to their careers.

The incentive is available to businesses with fewer than 100 employees, startup companies, social enterprises, not-for- profits and registered charities.

For more information, visit W-W-W dot nova scotia dot C-A slash econ slash G-T-O.

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Media Contacts:

Sarah Levy MacLeod
Cell: 902-478-4904 E-mail:
Jamie Thomson
Hurricane Industrial Equipment 902-468-6717 E-mail:
Taylor Quinn
902-225-3405 E-mail: