Graduate to Opportunity Program – Financial Incentive 

Graduate to Opportunity (GTO) is helping to build a stronger workforce and retain well-educated 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 grad is a member of designated diversity group – and 12.5% of the second year’s salary. 


In order to be eligible for the program, your business must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • A company with fewer than 100 employees.
  • A start-up company, incorporated within two years of the application date.
  • A social enterprise, not-for-profit organization, or registered charity, with recognized standing.

To be eligible for the program, your business must create a job that meets the following criteria:

  • A permanent, full-time position with a minimum annual salary of $30,000.
  • A position that requires an individual to live and work in Nova Scotia as a new full-time employee of the  organization.
  • A position that does not begin until final approval is granted through the program.

Graduates who are eligible to be hired through the program must meet the following criteria:

  • An individual who has successfully completed a post-secondary program within a year of the date the employer application is received. (Please see for a list of the post-secondary institutions this program recognizes.)
  • An individual who is not an Apprentice. If your business intends to hire an Apprentice, you will need to apply for the Apprentice START program.

For more information on the GTO Program, or to apply, please go to 


START Program- Financial Incentive

The START Program is a program of Employment NS, that encourages employers to hire Nova Scotians requiring work experience. Financial incentives will be provided to employers with a labour need willing to support ready-to-work Nova Scotians. Incentives will vary depending on the type of employment offered and the skill level of the employee and may include a retention bonus of $500 per job opportunity.  

Is my organization eligible? 

  • All businesses, organizations (Not for profit and Social Enterprises) that have business locations and jobs in Nova Scotia. The START program has a focus on Small to medium sized enterprises.
  • Companies with headquarters outside of Nova Scotia are eligible to apply only if they also have a physical location in Nova Scotia.

How do I apply? 

  • Organization applications can be submitted online using the Lampss system and will be reviewed by ENS staff.  Application assistance will be provided to employers by ENS when required.
  • To register for the LaMPSS system, please call 1-877-223-0888 to obtain a registration package.
  • For more details on the application process and program eligibility/information please download the Program Guideline PDF

For more information on the START Program, or to apply, please go to 

If you are looking to hire an Apprentice under the START Program, please go to for more information!