News release

New Program Creates Jobs for African Nova Scotians

Fifteen African Nova Scotians and people of African descent will be hired at Nova Scotia Works employment services centres across the province to ensure service providers better reflect the communities they serve.

It is called the Diversity and Inclusion Program and funding will come from the Canada-Nova Scotia Labour Market Development Agreement; $2.5 million will allow the permanent career practitioner positions to be created. They work one-on one with clients to support access to quality employment and training.

"We know that access to quality employment services can be a barrier for African Nova Scotians," said African Nova Scotian Affairs Minister Tony Ince. "Employment service providers are connecting the people in their communities to training and jobs. This program will enable service providers to better reflect the communities they serve, and in turn, they’ll be able to provide increased support and outreach to other members of their communities."

The program is led by the Centre for Employment and Innovation at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish and is guided by Black leaders within the Nova Scotia Works employment services system.

Nova Scotia Works centres are posting jobs individually in their communities. For information on how to apply, visit for a full list of centres.


I believe this is the first initiative of its kind done in this way, across the province, with Black practitioners and leaders in a system that is meant to serve everyone. As an African Nova Scotian woman, this program gives me hope. African Nova Scotians have historically experienced multiple systemic barriers to training and employment. This initiative works with African Nova Scotians and persons of African descent to open doors and create meaningful employment opportunities. Angela Bear, project lead, Centre for Employment Innovation

This is a wonderful opportunity to develop an initiative in an inclusive manner from a culturally relevant position. This is the first time in my career that government and institutions have asked, what do you need? and when we answered, they replied, we hear you. Lynda Thomas, director, YMCA Halifax Dartmouth, Nova Scotia Works

The Valley African Nova Scotian Development Association is pleased to participate in implementing this initiative. The program provides a meaningful starting point towards the diversification of not only the Nova Scotia Works system, but the organizations which make up the system. With this program, members of the African Nova Scotian community will gain entry into an employment sector that historically has seen limited access and now will become a viable career choice. Robert Ffrench, CEO VANSDA, Nova Scotia Works

Quick Facts:

  • funding will support the positions for two years
  • the program was created by the department of Labour and Advanced Education, the Centre for Employment and Innovation, the Nova Scotia Career Development Association and several employment service providers representing African Nova Scotian and people of African descent communities, including, the Valley African Nova Scotian Development Association, the YMCA-HRM, Career Connections and the Cumberland African Nova Scotian Association
  • Nova Scotia Works community based-service providers currently employ over 45 people who self-identify as African Nova Scotian or person of African descent and were actively engaged in the development of this program
  • the program supports Count Us In: Nova Scotia’s Action Plan in Response to the International Decade for People of African Descent Additional Resources:
  • Count Us In: Nova Scotia’s Action Plan in Response to the International Decade for People of African Descent
  • full list of Nova Scotia Works centres across the province for more information and to apply