In January 2013, the government of New Brunswick announced the One-Job Pledge Initiative. The goal of the initiative was two-pronged: to help new graduates find jobs and to stimulate New Brunswick’s stagnant economy. Through the initiative, lawmakers hoped to retain New Brunswick talent within the province.
The initiative is offered through the Workforce Expansion Program, which is administered through the Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour. Businesses that qualify for the program will receive a one-year wage incentive when they hire a permanent, full-time employee who is also a recent graduate of a post-secondary institution. The initiative stipulates that participating businesses must pay, at minimum, $14 per hour, but that the government will reimburse up to 70 per cent of the salary.
In August 2013, the government of New Brunswick announced that the One-Job Pledge has assisted 524 new graduates find meaningful employment within New Brunswick since January. One-quarter of the jobs created are based in Fredericton, with one company – GreenNexxus – having created five jobs to date under the program.
The program, however, has not been exempt from criticism. Dominic Cardy, leader of the New Brunswick NDP party, claims that the One-Job Pledge gives employers a loophole to fire existing employees and replace them with new employees whose paychecks will be heavily subsidized by the government.
What do you think? Certainly the goals of the government are laudable, but is there something more the government could do? Let us know in the comments.