Ontario is making it easier for people with criminal records to find jobs

Apr 26 2023, 5:59 pm

The Ontario government is investing $12 million to support nine projects designed to help thousands of people leaving the justice system or those with prior criminal records find employment with local businesses.

The province says that more than one million people in Ontario live with a criminal record, which can decrease the chances of a second interview by 50% and increase the likelihood of long-term poverty.

“Across the province, these projects will help up to 2,000 people with criminal records find good jobs because it’s time we give more people a second chance at a better life,” said Monte McNaughton, minister of labour, immigration, training, and skills development.

“It’s our responsibility to help break the cycle of poverty and incarceration.”

The plan involves various organizations across several sectors and will prepare job seekers for careers in construction, manufacturing, hospitality, and more.

According to the province, the projects will provide a range of employment and training needs through technical training, on-the-job learning, and supports like mentorship, job placement, and mental health resources.

This year, the province is also investing nearly $2 million in the Corrections Literacy Initiative to help approximately 1,000 individuals across 13 correctional facilities improve their math, reading, and writing skills to improve their chances of landing a good job after serving their sentence.

“Across Ontario, tens of thousands of people have paid their dues and just want to roll up their sleeves and give back,” McNaughton said. “I urge business leaders to join us as we smash through the stigma of a criminal record.”

The province will be unveiling even more programs to assist people with prior involvement in the criminal justice system over the next few months.

Kimia Afshar MehrabiKimia Afshar Mehrabi

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