LABOUR/ADVANCED EDUCATION: Government enhances Graduate to Opportunity program

Government is enhancing the Graduate to Opportunity program to encourage more businesses to hire women, people with disabilities and other diverse graduates. Employers will now receive an additional 10 per cent subsidy in the first year for diverse and international hires.

"This program has already created meaningful career opportunities for hundreds of talented new graduates," said Premier Stephen McNeil said in a March 21 announcement in Dartmouth. "Our youth unemployment rate is trending down, and connecting more young people from underrepresented groups will help drive that rate down even further.

"Graduate to Opportunity and other programs like it are part of our strategy to train our youth, keep them home, and support the economic growth of our province."

The program was launched in 2015 and provides salary contributions to eligible businesses that hire recent graduates. The offset is 25 per cent in the first year and 12.5 per cent in the second.

Now employers who hire a female graduate in a non-traditional occupation, a graduate who self-identifies as a person with a disability, a racially visible person, or an Aboriginal person, or an international graduate, are eligible to receive a 35 per cent first-year subsidy.

The program is part of government's Make It Here initiative, which provides more opportunities for young Nova Scotians. Visit the Make It Here website.