Premier David Alward announced the One-Job Pledge program is being expanded to create more jobs

Premier David Alward says supporting business is integral to growing the economy. (Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon/CBC)

The Alward government is expanding a program designed to increase the number of jobs available to recent post-secondary graduates.

It hopes to create 127 more jobs under the One-Job Pledge initiative, Premier David Alward announced at Innovatia Inc. in Saint John on Wednesday.

The program, launched in January, offers a one-year wage incentive to businesses that hire a permanent, full-time employee who graduated from a post-secondary institution within the past four years.

It has already helped to create 723 jobs in a variety of sectors — 73 more than its original goal, said Alward.

The new goal is 850 jobs, he said.

"Our government believes supporting business is integral to growing the economy," Alward said in a statement.

"The One-Job Pledge has the added benefit of providing recent graduates the opportunity to gain work experience here at home."

The jobs already created are in a variety of sectors, including construction and information and communications technology, said Alward.

Innovatia Inc., a knowledge management consulting firm, has hired 23 employees under the initiative.

Under the One-Job Pledge initiative, businesses must pay a minimum salary of $14 per hour.

The initiative allows for the reimbursement of 70 per cent of the salary to a maximum of $10 per hour for 52 weeks.

One-Job Pledge, part of the Workforce Expansion Program, is administered by the Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour.