Eric Blake
Eric Blake, Policy & Research Analyst

Better Know a Program is a series that highlights provincial and federal government programs that help businesses hire students and recent graduates. This is part of the `Grow and Nurture the Skilled Workforce` commitment the Chamber`s made as a part of its 2013-2018 Strategic Plan. To suggest a program, find out about past programs, or get more information contact

What is it called? The Student Career Skills Development Program (SCSDP), it’s a part of the Student Employment Program.

Who runs it? The Nova Scotia Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism.

What is the point? The program gives wage subsides to non-profit organizations to help them hire Nova Scotia post-secondary students.

What makes a job eligible? In 2015, eligible positions must pay students at least $10.60 per hour for between 30-35 hours per week. Standard CPP, EI, and vacation pay requirements still apply.

The program will reimburse employers for anywhere between 8 and 14 weeks of employment. Employers will be reimbursed $8.60 per hour by the government. In 2015, the period of eligible employment was between April 27 and August 28.

Who Can I Hire? Students must either already be enrolled in university or college or must be entering the program in the Fall (graduating students are not eligible). All students must be residents of Nova Scotia for at least 6 months prior to the work term.

Students cannot be related to board members or staff of your organization.

What organizations can participate? The program is open to any non-profit organization or registered charity. Universities, colleges, school boards, schools, medical clinics, special care facilities, and golf courses are not eligible.

How do I apply? All of the documents for the program are available on the department’s website. To apply, you can submit your application through the provincial government’s online Access to Business system. If you are having trouble with the online application you can submit it via mail.

Applications are only accepted once per year. The deadline for applications is the end of January.

Any other pieces of advice? If you are worried about cash flow, you can apply to the department for an advance of up 60% of your approved funding once your application has been approved.

Please note that the application form PDF will likely not open correctly if you are using Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome, try a different browser and it should work.

Where do I go for more information? Visit, call 1-800-424-5418/902-424-6000, or email The ‘Program Guidelines’ document at the bottom of the SCSDP’s webpage provides the best overview of the program.

Any final thoughts? Good work experience is incredibly important for students, particularly if it provides them with career-relevant skills. Some research has suggested that students with work experience are three times as likely to land a job after graduation. Hiring students helps them stay in Nova Scotia and provides your organization with new perspectives and skills.