Options Youth


If your business is interested in hiring a participant and benefiting from $6,300 in funding, please fill out the application below. If you have any questions please contact OptionsYouth@smu.ca


Next intake will begin in July 5, 2022 on a continuous basis. If you are interested in hearing more please contact OptionsYouth@smu.ca 

Options Youth is a employment wage subsidy program funded by Service Canada and facilitated by the Saint Mary’s University Entrepreneurship Centre. The program consist of personalized skill training and  paid work placements to help Nova Scotian youth overcome barriers to enter the workforce. The program consist of two stream: 

Stream 1: Work Training

Participants engage in 10-weeks of paid personalized employability skills training using a hybrid approach and then move into a 700 hour work term. The current intake began July 5, 2022 and will be ready to work in early September 2022.

Topics Covered:

    • Career Planning: resume building, interview prep, job search, etc.
    • Personal Skills: problem solving, dependability, interpersonal skills etc.
    • Workplace Skills: sales, customer service, leadership, time management. etc.
    • Entrepreneurial Mindset: creativity, curiosity, attitude, communication. motivation, etc.

Stream 2: Work Ready

In this stream the program seeks to connect youth with employers for a 700 hour work term to gain experience necessary to get employed, and stay employed. Participants will engage in virtual training throughout the program via our Options Online learning platform to engage further upskill their toolbox.

Currently seeking 10 work placement with employers across Nova Scotia.

For Employers:

  • 700 hour wage subsidy, covering up to $9/hr, up to a maximum of $6,300.
  • Additional support, as required, throughout the program to participants and employers to provide the best possible experience


For Participants:

Work Training Program:

  • Attend 10 weeks of employability training and then move into 700 hour work term
  • Personalized training and mentoring to participants using our online platform
  • Participants earn an allowance of over $4,500 while completing the online skill training
  • Support and coaching while completing the work term.

Work Ready Program

  • Participants earn a stipend of up to $500 for completing customized virtual training.
  • Support and coaching while completing the work term.

Employer Requirements:

  • Hire a participant from Work Training, Work Ready streams, or find your own candidate that fits the requirements
  • Small- and medium- size business in Nova Scotia
  • Place the participant on payroll (invoice Options Youth each month)
  • Provide monthly reports to the program staff

Participant Requiements:

  • Between the ages of 15-30

  • Canadian citizen, permanent resident or protected person as defined by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act

  • Legally entitled to work in Nova Scotia

  • Facing barrier to employment

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