Graduate to Opportunity

Hire a recent graduate and the Government of Nova Scotia will cover a portion of their salary. Learn how.

The Graduate to Opportunity (GTO) program helps build a stronger workforce and retain young people in Nova Scotia with a salary incentive that makes it easier to hire recent graduates.

Employers receive 25% of the first year’s salary (35% if the new graduate is a member of designated diversity group) and 12.5% of the second year’s salary.

Graduate to Opportunity is a youth employment program.


You can apply for the subsidy if you fall into any of these categories:

  • a small business with fewer than 100 employees
  • a start-up company incorporated within 2 years of the application date
  • a social enterprise, non-profit organization or registered charity with recognized standing

The position must be new, permanent, full-time and pay at least $35,000 a year. You are not eligible for this incentive if you will receive other government wage funding for the position, although you may receive funds for related projects.

The graduate you hire must have successfully completed a post-secondary program within 1 year of their first day of work (see the list of recognized post-secondary institutions).

The program can’t consider graduate-employees who have been working for the employer on a permanent basis before the GTO application is approved.

Apprentices in registered trades aren’t eligible for the Graduate to Opportunity program. If you want to hire an apprentice, you need to apply for the START program.

How to apply

If your business is registered in the online Labour Market Programs Support System (LaMPSS), you can apply now.

Start now

If you don’t have a LaMPSS account, you can register by completing the External Access Form (PDF) and emailing it to

Refer to the Graduate to Opportunity Program Guidelines (PDF) for complete details

Before you start

When you apply, you need to:

  • describe your organization and the role you wish to fill, including a detailed job description.
  • attach a T4 Summary for the organization

If you want to hire more than one new graduate, you need to complete a separate application for each position.

How long it takes

Applications are typically approved within 10 business days.

The new hire can’t start work until the employer receives final approval.


Labour, Skills and Immigration
PO Box 697
Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3J 2T8

Phone: 902-424-6000
Toll-free: 1-800-424-5418
Fax: 902-428-2037


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