New Opportunities for Work (NOW) is a provincially funded program centered on helping people join the workforce. It increases employment participation of groups currently underrepresented in Nova Scotia’s workforce. The groups include: First Nations, African Nova Scotians, Racially Visible Individuals, Nova Scotians on Employment Support and Income Assistance (ESIA), Persons with Disability, and Older Workers (55+ years of age).
Since launching in July 2017, the program has connected 160 people to 100+ workplaces across the province, surpassing its goal of helping 150 job seekers in its first year. The NOW Program is providing current participants from the aforementioned underrepresented groups with access to training, job supports, and meaningful employment – with a wage of at least $15 per hour over a two year period.
Participating employers are provided a wage subsidy of $10.50 per hour and must contribute at least an additional $4.50 per hour (to achieve the $15 per hour wage minimum) over a two-year period. In addition to the wage incentive, employers will receive education and training that will help support a more welcoming and culturally-safe work environment.
The NOW Program offers an innovative approach to key labour market challenges, with both short and long-term impacts. Participants are receiving the training and ongoing supports necessary to flourish in their new work environments, with the hope that current NOW employers will retain the employee past the two years, appreciating the value and experience that the employee now brings. In addition, during the program the participants will acquire valuable job experience and skills that apply to today’s job market that are transferable to other organizations.
Innovative in its design and delivery, New Opportunities for Work allowed participating employment service providers to help mold the program, within the given parameters, to best suit the needs of their own clients and communities.
The NOW program also has a robust research component which includes monitoring the program from start to finish through a developmental evaluation. This research will help build capacity within the system by generating evidence-informed solutions that support front-line employment service design and delivery.
All activities related to the program, with the exception of the evaluation and research components being conducted by the Centre for Employment Innovation (CEI), must be completed by February 1st, 2020. Research and evaluation components will be delivered by March 31, 2020.
To learn more about the New Opportunities for Work Program, please click on the links below:
- NOW Expected Program Results
- NOW Essential Program Components
- NOW Guiding Principles
- NOW Program Announcement Gallery
- PRESS: Program aims to get underrepresented groups into workplace
- PRESS: Program brings Red Seal certification to Cape Breton’s First Nations carpenters