News release

New Program to Help Attract and Retain Young Skilled Workers

Young skilled trades workers in Nova Scotia will be the first to benefit from the More Opportunity for Skilled Trades (MOST) program, aimed at attracting and retaining young people in key sectors and shaping the workforce of tomorrow.

For those tradespeople under the age of 30 who are employed and registered as apprentices or certified as journeypersons in eligible skilled trades and occupations, MOST will return their provincial income tax paid on the first $50,000 of income earned.

Premier Tim Houston announced more details about the program today, June 8, at the Irving Shipyard in Halifax.

“We want young skilled workers to know they have a bright future in Nova Scotia, where they can work, build their lives and contribute to the incredible growth our province is experiencing,” said Premier Houston. “Nova Scotia isn’t alone in facing gaps in our labour market, but what sets us apart is the concrete actions we are taking to address the problem. This is an upfront investment in young people that will lead to long-term economic growth.”

The first eligible trades under the program are in the construction, industrial/manufacturing, motive power and service sectors. A full list of the eligible skilled trades is available here:

The MOST program will be in effect for the 2022 income tax year. Eligible workers will qualify for their refund next year, after they file their 2022 income tax return and receive a notice of assessment from the Canada Revenue Agency. More information about the refund process will be available in the coming months.

“Nova Scotia has a lot to offer and we are working with employers to find new ways to retain the workers we have and attract new people in these important careers to the province. That is why I am excited to see the official launch of MOST,” said Labour, Skills and Immigration Minister Jill Balser. “Skilled trades are vital to our overall economic growth and offer a rewarding and viable career path.”

As needs in other sectors are identified, MOST will expand to include additional occupations.


I’ve lived in this province my whole life, growing up in the small farming community of Upper Musquodoboit. I am a proud graduate of the NSCC Akerley campus and am currently a second-year welding apprentice here at the Halifax Shipyard. I’d like to extend a huge thank you to the Province for announcing this new rebate, which will go a long way in keeping people like me and my co-workers here at home in Nova Scotia to grow and expand our careers. As we all know, every dollar counts in the current state of high inflation and housing crisis, and I believe this program is a big step in helping navigate these challenges that Nova Scotians are facing. Shea Erskine, apprentice welder, Halifax Shipyard

Irving Shipbuilding is very proud to be the largest employer of apprentices in Atlantic Canada. We are committed to supporting this team of over 245 skilled trades on their journey, building skills and life-changing careers for the next generation. Last year, we achieved record-breaking Red Seal certifications for our apprentices. We are on target to do the same this year. We’re hiring and the program announced today by the Premier sends a clear message: we want you to grow your career in Nova Scotia. Kevin Mooney, President, Irving Shipbuilding

We’re entering a period of unprecedented growth in the construction sector just as many of our people are reaching retirement. This means there are a number of jobs available at a time when Nova Scotia is investing billions in infrastructure and housing development. Innovative solutions like these tax incentives will help Nova Scotia compete with other regions and attract and retain young workers to good-paying jobs in the construction sector. Duncan Williams, President and CEO, Construction Association of Nova Scotia

Quick Facts:

  • about 7,500 current and new workers in the skilled trades will benefit from MOST, with an average refund of about $2,700
  • MOST was announced in Budget 2022-23: Solutions for Healthcare, Solutions for Nova Scotians
  • Budget 2022-23 included $750,000 more for skilled trades in school programs, including promotion efforts to double the number of students in the programs, as well as provide more supplies and resources
  • in December, the Province launched a recruitment campaign to help attract skilled trades and healthcare workers from other parts of Canada
  • the Apprenticeship START program provides funding to small- and medium-sized businesses that hire apprentices in Nova Scotia

Additional Resources:

Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency:

Budget 2022-23: Solutions for Healthcare, Solutions for Nova Scotians:

Mandate letter of the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board:,-FTB-GA-LR.pdf

Mandate letter of the Minister of Labour, Skills and Immigration: