News release

Support to Help Nova Scotians Connect to the Workforce

NOTE: A list of the 25 community-led programs follows this release.

The province is investing $10 million to support 25 communities through the Back to Work Community Partnership initiative so they can plan and deliver short-term programs aimed at helping people build skills and connect to the local workforce.

“As we begin our next chapter and work toward economic recovery, we need to ensure our future includes everyone,” said Lena Metlege Diab, Minister of Labour and Advanced Education. “Partnering directly with community groups will allow us to find innovative solutions and support the Nova Scotians who need it most.”

The Back to Work Community Partnership focuses on helping employers hire skilled workers and supports people, especially those from underrepresented groups, to prepare, train and connect to meaningful employment.

Each project will receive a maximum of $500,000 and will last between 12 and 18 months. The programs will address specific community needs, such as literacy and essential skills training, work placements and specific on-the-job training, including some trades.

Community groups received the funding in March.


Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS) is honoured to receive the Department of Labour and Advanced Education’s Back to Work Community Partnership funding. Our project will work with immigrants to bridge the gap in areas of high labour-market need in Nova Scotia, focusing on personal-care workers and carpenters. We are excited about the opportunities that this funding will bring to our work and to continuing our long-standing tradition of innovative employment-bridging programs for newcomers to our province. Jennifer Watts, chief executive officer, ISANS

The Mi'kmaw Native Friendship Society is pleased to receive a Back to Work Community Partnership grant. It is innovative programs like this that develop long-term attachments to the labour market. The society’s program includes skills development that will help prepare and secure meaningful careers for urban Indigenous peoples. We look forward to continuing to build long-term relationships with existing and new partners that will support ongoing success for our communities through advancing access to the labour market. Pamela Glode Desrochers, executive director, Mi'kmaw Native Friendship Centre

This program presents a significant opportunity for the construction industry in Cape Breton. In addition to supporting unemployed, underrepresented Nova Scotians to gain skills needed to work in architectural sheet metal, we are also addressing the anticipated needs of the Cape Breton infrastructure projects. Being able to respond to labour-market needs in this way will have positive impacts for years to come. Trent Soholt, executive director, Nova Scotia Construction Sector Council

This project is a unique opportunity for community groups to work together using services and resources in the area to come up with innovative solutions that will help many people get back to work. Whether it be those who recently lost their job due to the pandemic or those who have had trouble overcoming barriers prior to, there will be something for everyone. Many people are going to benefit from this project. Charles Cranton, Digby Area Learning Association

Quick facts:

  • the initiative is supported through the Canada-Nova Scotia Workforce Development Agreement
  • each project will receive a maximum of $500,000
  • each project will last about 12 to 18 months

Additional Resources:

Adult Learning:

Grow your Business:

NS Works:

Association of Industry Sector Councils:


List of Programs:

  • Annapolis Valley Back to Work and Skills Enhancement Partnership, Community Inclusion Society, NS Works - Community Inc. - $407,000
  • Architectural Sheet Metal Training, Construction Sector Council - $360,000
  • Back to Work Project, Inverness County Literacy Council - $135,000
  • Back to Work: Skills Enhancements for the Trucking Sector, Trucking Human Resource Sector Council Atlantic - $497,000
  • Back to Work Program - Mi'kmaw Native Friendship Center - $447,000
  • Bridging the Gap for Personal Care Workers and Carpenters – ISANS - $497,000
  • Building for the Better Employment Program, The John Howard Society of Nova Scotia and Noise: Information and Transition Agency - $500,000
  • Cape Breton - Unama’ki Workplace Inclusion Charter and Recognition Program, Cape Breton Partnership - $456,000
  • Careers in Sustainability, Ignite Atlantic and the Nova Scotia Innovation Hub - $484,000
  • Career Link, Valley Community Learning Association and Digby Area Learning Association - $374,00
  • Community Careers in Entrepreneurship, Antigonish County Adult Learning Association - $43,000
  • Developing our Biggest Asset - Our People, Wagmatcook First Nation - $338,000
  • Developing the Next Generation of Road Builders in Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Road Builders Association - $432,475
  • Empowerment for Employment (Non-Care Entry Level Workers), Literacy Nova Scotia - $500,000
  • Essential Skills for Nova Scotia Fisheries, Literacy Nova Scotia - $500,000
  • Future Ready New Opportunities Project, Teamwork Cooperative - $500,000
  • Get into IT!, Digital NS - $500,000
  • Job Link Clubs: People with disabilities supporting each other to find and keep employment, Prescott Group - $364,000
  • Moving Toward the Skilled Trades in Manufacturing, Dartmouth Learning Network - $286,000
  • One-year Pre-employability Program, NS Works - YMCA of Cape Breton - $490,000
  • Pathways to Building Construction Trades for Racialized Nova Scotian Women and Men in Post COVID Economic Recovery, East Preston Empowerment Academy - $454,000
  • Pathway to Prosperity, Opportunity Place - $340,000
  • Preparing for Production, NS Works - Employment Solutions Society - $280,000
  • Reconstructing the Trades, Nova Scotia Works Digby, Employment Opportunities Partnership - $500,000
  • Work Options, Richmond County Literacy Network - $269,000