March 5, 2016 8:58 am
Updated: March 8, 2016 12:18 am

Federal government helping fund 38 internships in rural Nova Scotia

In an effort to help post-secondary school grads struggling to find a job, the federal government has announced more than $900,000 in funding for 38 internships in rural Nova Scotia. As Steve Silva reports, the aim is to keep graduates in the province.

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In an effort to help post-secondary school grads struggling to find a job, the federal government announced on Friday $919,425 in funding for 38 internships in rural Nova Scotia.

“It’s a step. It’s a positive step and a positive investment. Our government wants to do more in terms of investments in young people,” said Scott Brison, president of the Treasury Board.

He made the announcement in Elmsdale, N.S.

The one-year internships will be held at small- and medium-sized enterprises and community economic development organizations.

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The money, coming through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s (ACOA) Innovative Communities Fund, will go to the Nova Scotia Association of Community Business Development Corporations’ Youth Internship Project.

Participating organizations will split costs of salaries and benefits.

Businesses will pay 50 per cent, and ACOA will pay the other half (up to $16,687.50).

ACOA will cover 90 per cent of costs (up to $30,037.50) for non-profits.

The internships are limited to people who are under 35 years old, eligible to work in Canada, and have graduated from a post-secondary school in the past three years.

“That’s 38 people that, hopefully, we can retain and keep here, one little bit at a time,” said Erinn Smith, executive director of the association.

The hope is the selected interns are impressive enough for the employers to hire them after the placement is done, she added.

The move is welcomed by Lynn Coveyduck, the executive director of Business Outreach at Saint Mary’s University‘s Sobey School of Business.

“Having experience is what will be able to set a student apart when they put themselves out there into the work world. They can say, ‘I’ve learned this at my post-secondary institution, and I’ve done this at my internship’,” she said.

Eddy Ng, a professor at Dalhousie University‘s Rowe School of Business, said the government is providing a good investment because it will help local economies and, subsequently, return to the government in tax payments.

“It’s good to see the federal government actually paying attention to rural areas. This is sort of an indirect way of redistributing income” he said, adding that it’s also a good opportunity for outlying communities to tap into workers with topical skills.

The funding, $45,000 of which are for administration fees, will result in 20 interns for businesses, and 18 for non-profit organizations.

© 2016 Shaw Media

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