An announcement today from Labour and Advanced Education Minister Labi Kousoulis will offer more incentives to companies hiring young, diverse workers next summer.
A diversity bonus will be added to two popular programs for university and college students, the Cooperative Education Incentive and the Student Summer Skills Incentive.
"Hiring programs help diverse students develop the skills, experience and networks they need to find good jobs and new opportunities here, while also strengthening businesses and other workplaces across the province," says Kousoulis.
The bonus applies to businesses hiring female students in a non-traditional occupation, people who self-identify as racially visible, Indigenous, African Nova Scotian, a person with a disability or an international graduate.
It will add $1 an hour under the Student Summer Skills Incentive and $1.50 an hour through the Co-op Education Incentive to the subsidies that already exist.
The Student Summer Skills Incentive helps non-profits hire post-secondary students for summer jobs, and positions are currently subsidized at $8.85 an hour.
The Co-op Education Incentive helps businesses, non-profits and municipalities hire university and college co-op students every year, and positions are currently subsidized at $7.50 an hour.
This year, the program will support 1,500 student placements.
Students Nova Scotia, a not-for-profit and non-partisan advocacy group that represents Nova Scotia post-secondary students, said in a release Tuesday that they were happy to see the announcement.
"This incentive demonstrates government's desire to diversify Nova Scotia workplaces and help all students access career-related employment, enhancing the quality of their post-secondary experience," says Mary Navas, chair of StudentsNS.
The group represents 20,000 post-secondary students across the province, at institutions including Acadia, Saint Mary's, and St. Francis Xavier Universities, as well as three NSCC campuses.
StudentsNS says students who participate in Co-op or Summer Student programs are more likely to get hired after graduation.
"Work-integrated learning is a crucial way to build employment pathways post-graduation, which is front of mind for many students studying in Nova Scotia," says Students NS Vice Chair, Mackenzie Jarvin. "We hope this incentive encourages employers to hire diverse students, helping international students and others to remain in-province post-graduation."
For more information, visit https://novascotia.ca/programs/.