Entrepreneurship Centre

Employment Programs

Helping students achieve career goals

Employability training establishes essential skills and knowledge in students planning to enter or are already part of the workforce. Programs increase their awareness of the types of attitudes, behaviors and skills employers expect. Training allows students to build confidence and realize that their goals are within reach.


The Saint Mary's University Entrepreneurship Centre (SMUEC) is currently coordinating the Access-Ability: Employment Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities program. Through support from Service Canada, Access-Ability provides employers with a significant wage subsidy to hire persons with disabilities.

The objective of this project is to give persons with disabilities the opportunity to apply their skills in a work setting consistent with their education and allow them to become leaders in their chosen fields. In addition, participants will be given the opportunity to use their skills to launch a business of their own. Access-Ability is offering both an entrepreneurship and employment experience option to employers and participants. In the entrepreneurship experience, the employer would provide entrepreneurial coaching during the program for a participant interested in starting their own business at the end of the 39-week work placement. In the employment experience, the employer would provide career mentorship for the participant with the intention of the participant staying with the employer after the 39-week work placement.

We have reached the end of the application process for this year and are no longer accepting applications. If you are an interested employer, please send us an email.

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 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.

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

Employer’s requirements are as follows: 

  • 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)

Would your business benefit by hiring a recent graduate? We are always looking for new employers to take part in the Work Smarts program. Please click here for information regarding employer eligibility.

OPtions: Youth

The OPtions Youth program is devoted to equipping youth with the skills required to make a successful transition into the labour market. This program is funded through Service Canada and facilitated through the Saint Mary's University Entrepreneurship Centre

The objective of the program is to create valuable employees in Halifax Regional Municipality through supportive employment training and experiential learning. Over the last fourteen years, the Saint Mary's University Entrepreneurship Centre (SMUEC) has worked with hundreds of youth adults, helping them transition into the labour market and further education. In 2016, the OPtions Youth Program was named the overall winner for North America in the Global Best Awards(International Education Business Partnership Network), and in 2014 received a national prize for Multi-barriered Youth Innovation during the National Youth Employment Innovation Awards sponsored by the National Youth Employment Coalition and First Work.

To learn more about becoming involved with this program Click Here.