News release

Record Number of Co-operative Education Students Received Placements in 2020

University and NSCC co-operative education (co-op) students secured a record number of 861 paid work placements through government’s Co-operative Education Incentive program in 2020 – an additional 100 jobs from the previous year.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, employers across Nova Scotia continued to recognize the shared benefits of hiring co-op students by supporting more work experiences in 2020 than ever before.

“Our priority is to ensure that Nova Scotian youth have access to quality training and employment opportunities,” said Lena Metlege Diab, Minister of Labour and Advanced Education. “Providing students with real-world work experience is invaluable and I want to thank businesses and employers for stepping up and providing these important opportunities.”

Government’s Co-operative Education Incentive provides employers with a wage subsidy, making it more affordable to hire post-secondary students. The program has continued to grow annually. In 2019, 733 post-secondary students across the province benefited from a co-op work experience.

The Co-operative Education Incentive continues to strengthen Nova Scotia’s workforce by helping students acquire the experience and contacts they need to launch their careers, and by connecting employers with talented youth.


Co-op has helped open my eyes to the value that today’s students can bring. Though they may not have the experience yet, the excitement and innovation students bring is equally as impactful for the team. As more businesses adapt to the evolving challenges brought on by the pandemic, they might be surprised to see how much they can learn from these more junior team members. Margaret Dron, founder, Electric Owl

My co-op term enhanced my organizational expertise by exposing me to scenarios, challenging my abilities and making me realize my true potential. It has aided me in improving my data entry, problem-solving, critical thinking and time management skills. My employer had faith in my abilities and gave me independent projects, which further enhanced my productivity and increased my knowledge. Garima Chawla, co-op student, Cape Breton University Bachelor of Business Administration Program

Quick Facts:

  • employers can hire a co-op student for a 12- to 16-week work term
  • employers can receive a wage subsidy of $7.50 an hour per student, or $9 an hour if the student is a member of a designated diversity group, in order to promote more equity and inclusion in the workforce
  • a diversity bonus was added to the Co-op Education Incentive in spring 2020
  • since the bonus was introduced, the number of diverse and international students hired through the program has more than doubled to 257 in summer and fall 2020, compared to 103 in the same terms in 2019

Additional Resources:

For more information about the Co-operative Incentive Program, visit:


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