Start your hiring plans today with the START program!

The START Program, administered by Employment Nova Scotia (ENS), and the newly formed Apprenticeship Agency helps employers hire Nova Scotians requiring work. The program provides financial incentives to employers with a labour need who are willing to hire ready-to-work Nova Scotians. The amount of financial incentive will vary depending on the type of employment offered and the skill level of the employee. Employers who retain their new employee past the end of the program date as full-time permanent employees could be eligible for a retention bonus.

Financial incentives may include wage subsidies, training costs, and other costs related to hiring new employees. The program has an ongoing intake of applicants and the budget for the program is sufficient for the needs of the entire province. Feedback on the START program from small business owners has been positive especially regarding the flexibility of program offerings and the focus on supporting small- to medium-sized enterprises.

Who is the START Program is available to:

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

* According to Industry Canada, Small to Medium sized Enterprises are defined as : Small Business – less than 100 staff and Medium Business – less than 500 staff.

How do I apply?

  • Call Employment Nova Scotia at 1-877-223-0888 to obtain a registration package and login information for LaMPSS (Labour Market Programs Support Systems).
  • Once you are registered with LaMPSS you can submit your applications online. Your application will be reviewed by Employment Nova Scotia staff.  Application assistance for employers will be provided by ENS if needed.
  • Those wishing to apply for funding for Apprentices should contact the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency at or email

Contact Information for START:

For more details on the application process and program eligibility/information please download the START Program Guidelines.