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Programs & Services

From skills building to youth support, we have the programs and services you need to overcome employment barriers.


If you are job ready, with some computer experience, you are welcome to our resource area. The resource area offers job postings, as well as access to printers, phone, computers and fax, for job search purposes.

The resource area is staffed with Information and Resource Specialists who can provide labour market information and assistance with resume and cover letter writing, as well as online job searching and job applications.  The resource area is self-serve and available to everyone. Additional services are available, at no cost, through our workshop offerings, click below to view the schedule and book a session.

Book a Workshop

If you are ready to permanently enter the workforce but are having difficulty finding, securing or maintaining employment, you are welcome to access our assisted services. 

First, you will meet with a certified career practitioner for an orientation on our services and to discuss your needs.  You will begin to develop a return to work action plan right away, with clear next steps!  These steps may include: job search strategies, career exploration, interview preparation, short or long-term training, as well as, access to funding opportunities to start a business, access training or gain work experience.  

We also offer job development services to individuals who are work ready but are having difficulty marketing themselves to potential employers.  Finally, we offer post-employment support to ensure successful, long-term employment.  This may include an orientation to workplace duties or assistance in accessing workplace accommodations.  Call, email or drop into any of our locations to access our assisted services.

Employer Engagement Specialists (EES) work intensively with employers to assess their needs and connect them to job-ready workers, this can be done through: information, training, job development, workforce planning, job matching, human resources assistance, space and support for hosting job fairs and conducting interviews and referrals to funding programs – all at no cost.

Connect with an Engagement Specialists right now!

Engagement Specialists


Coordinator: Jackie Holmes

The EDGE Pilot Program [Sydney] aims to help prepare and integrate Nova Scotian youth with barriers to employment into the workforce by providing pre-employment and employment services and supports. 

The program supports participants who have multiple employment-related barriers and, although job search ready, often require more intensive wraparound job search services than those offered elsewhere. Activities such as job shadowing/ work experience, skills enhancements, wage subsidies and many more will assist participants with their transition to employment.

Coordinator: Brandon Jolie

The Youth Leadership Program (YESS – Youth Employment Skills Strategy) is a government funded initiative to help youth between the ages of 15 and 30 get work/employment ready. The YMCA of Cape Breton houses this program as part of a three-year contract.

There is an eight-week employment training component with certifications, employability skills training and job readiness preparation where participants attend various workshops dedicated to improving their employment opportunities. When the 8 weeks are completed, they move into a 14-week work placement in hopes of gaining sustainable employment.

Coordinator: Kelli Wales
Phone: 902-202-9288

The Opportunities Fund is funded by the Federal government to support persons with disabilities throughout Cape Breton Island.  The fund can be accessed in four ways; 

  • job readiness preparation which includes assessments, employment coaching and pre-employment workshops
  • a wage subsidy to support employers with hiring and training a new hire who has identified as having a disability
  • upgrading or skill building through short term training/certifications
  • supports a person with a disability with opening a business to become self employed by accessing and connecting them to the resources and tools to open and operate a business

To access the fund a person must self identify as having a permanent disability, not been on or accessed EI in the last 5 years and be a Canadian Citizen, Permanent resident or refugee who is legally allowed to work in Canada.

Coordinator: Allyson Dunlop

Back to Work began as an 18 week pre-employment program aimed at providing  individuals an opportunity to: 

  • Build and practice their employability skills and abilities to overcome their employment barriers
  • Receive free training provided by recognized training institutes to gain new skills and certificates
  • Gain work experience necessary to participate in the labour market 

We are currently offering the following opportunities under this program:

  • Offer up to 8 one-week training sessions for up to 10 individuals in rural areas throughout Cape Breton
  • The program aims to make certified training more accessible to people living in rural areas
  • This free program will offer the opportunity to gain new certifications, upgrade existing training, and work with our team of career practitioners to assist you in achieving your career goals

Learn More About Back to Work