Step Ahead

Step Ahead is designed to support women and gender diverse people who need guidance on how to start working and re-enter the workforce after receiving Employment Support and Income Assistance in Nova Scotia.

Whether you’re returning after a break or seeking your first job, we’re here to guide you through the process with this FREE program.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Women and gender diverse people
  • Receiving Employment Support and Income Assistance
  • Will be receiving Employment Support and Income Assistance in the near future

Program Delivery

Step Ahead is divided into three stages of group programming, with some programming taking place online virtually and some in-person.

The program runs for a total of 16 weeks with programming taking about 15 to 20 hours a week.

Stage 1) Pre-Employment Workshops and Training

Over six to eight weeks, participants will be taught important employment readiness skills through both in-person and virtual group sessions.

Workshop and training topics include:

  • Employment values
  • Goal setting
  • Job interview preparation
  • Resume and cover letter writing
  • Skill assessments
  • WHIMS certification, First Aid, and Mental Health First Aid

Stage 2) Community Action Project

Over four to six weeks, participants will work together on a Community Action Project that benefits and supports their community. Participants collectively decide on the project’s focus which can range from fundraising or awareness campaigns, to garden projects and charity item drives.

Working together on this project gives participants an opportunity for personal growth, skill development, networking, and teamwork.

Stage 3) Volunteer Placement

Over four weeks, participants will secure a volunteer placement with the support of YWCA Halifax staff.

Placements will be matched to each participant’s interests, provide the chance to learn new skills, support future job goals, and may lead to longer term community connections.

Volunteer placements are designed so that participants can continue to receive Employment Support and Income Assistance while completing the program.

Financial Supports

Participants will receive a small monthly stipend of $150 that will not interfere with their Employment Support and Income Assistance status.

Additionally, all program materials are provided for free and funding is available for those without connection to internet.

How to Sign Up

People can be referred to Step Ahead by their Employment Support and Income Assistance Case Worker or can apply directly.

To register for an upcoming Step Ahead cohort, or be placed on a waitlist, please contact:

Cassie Sundin | Program Coordinator

OR | (902) 414-3174

Questions and Contact

If you have questions or would like to learn more about the program, please email:

Cassie Sundin | Program Coordinator


Belinda LeBlanc | Employment Team Lead