Innovate to Opportunity Hiring Incentive

By mmuise

Innovate to Opportunity (ITO) is providing Nova Scotia SMEs an incentive to hire recent masters and PhD grads for jobs that are focused on research and innovation that will help businesses begin, prepare for, or expand exports.
Employers can receive salary incentives in one of two streams: Innovation Stream, where the new graduate's work should be expected to help the company prepare for, begin or expand exports, or Advanced Innovation Stream, where his work must also have an explicit connection to export development or growth.

Comments on Funding:

Funding under the Innovation Stream is 35% of the graduate’s annual salary in Year 1, 20% in Year 2 and 12.5% in Year 3, up to an annual salary of $100,000.

Funding under the Advanced Innovation Stream is 50% of the graduate’s annual salary in Year 1, 25% in Year 2, and 12.5% in Year 3, up to an annual salary of $100,000.

A diversity bonus of an additional 10% can be provided in the 1st and 2nd years of both streams, if the graduate is a woman in an under-represented occupation, self-identifies as a racially visible minority, is Mi’kmaq or Indigenous, an international student or a person with a disability.

Deadline: Applications are closed. Stay tuned for future intake announcements.

The company must:

  • be a Nova Scotia operating SME,
  • have up to 500 full-time employees,
  • create a full-time position focused on innovation and pay a minimum annual salary of $60,000.
    The new hire must have successfully completed a master’s or PhD program at a recognized university within a year of the date the employer’s application is received.
Application Steps:

The applicant must:

1. register in the online Labor Market Programs Support System (LaMPSS),

2. complete the online application form.

Documentation Needed:

Applicants must sumbmit alongisde the application form: 1. a description of their organization and its mandate,
2. contact details of a person at their organization who will be responsible for the agreement,
3. a job description for the new position you wish to create, as well as its location,
4. a T4 Summary or other documentation to show the number of employees,
5. a complete Innovation Plan. Once the chosen graduate is hired, the employer must submit the following three documents to the Youth Initiatives Program Agreement Manager:
1. a copy of the graduate’s degree or a letter from the respective university confirming that they have completed all program requirements, and the date of their convocation.
2. a signed copy of the graduates’ employment letter of offer between your organization and the graduate, including the following information: salary, permanent/full-time Employment, new position, start date, signatures of the graduate (new hire) and employer
3. a completed Graduate Information Form, which can be downloaded from the Innovate to Opportunity Program website. This is where the new hire has an opportunity to self-identify as aboriginal Canadian, a visible minority, a person with a disability, a woman in an under-represented occupation or an international graduate, which would make the employer eligible to receive an additional 10% diversity bonus in the first and second year.

Other Things to Note:

Feb. 2024: This program is no longer available.
Issue Date: October 2022 (Guidelines)

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