Work Smarts

Work Smarts is an employment wage subsidy funded by Service Canada and facilitated by the Saint Mary’s University Entrepreneurship Centre. We are pleased to provide federal wage subsidies to employers in Nova Scotia.

Through this program, we provide wage subsidies to employers to assist their hiring of a recent graduate. Last year, we placed over 60 recent graduates in career related positions with small and medium-sized enterprises. Through our partnership with Service Canada, we have been able to offer each employer in the program up to $7,750 in funding to help grow their business while providing valuable experience to new graduates.

We are currently looking for employers throughout Nova Scotia to take part in Work Smarts. 

To submit an application, please click here

Work Smarts Provides

  • A 50% wage subsidy, up to a $8.50/hr subsidy for up to 26 weeks of work experience
  • Assistance with job posting and short listing of candidates
  • Training and mentoring for participants to enhance their work experience
  • Advice and monitoring throughout the program to ensure participants and employers are receiving the best possible experience
  • Fit under the NAICS High Demand Sector classification for Atlantic region
  • Coverage of MERC (mandatory employment related costs) – CPP, EI, Vacation Pay
  • Provide a 50% wage top up (to match the subsidized portion)
  • Allow participant to attend training as required (two days at beginning, one day toward program end)

Participant Requirements

  • Must be between the ages of 15 and 30 (inclusive) at the time of intake/selection
  • Must be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person who have been granted refugee status in Canada
  • Must be legally entitled to work according to the relevant provincial/territorial legislation and regulations
  • Must not be in receipt of Employment Insurance (EI) benefit

For more information, please see the Career Focus eligibility requirements


Would your business benefit by hiring a recent graduate? We are currently looking for new employers to take part in the Work Smarts program.


Are you a recent graduate in search of employment? Check out our job postings, we are always adding new ones!

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