Filling Ontario’s Labour Shortage

Everybody deserves a second chance, our government announced a $12 million investment to help support people with criminal records to equip themselves to find meaningful employment in local businesses and become an integral part of the community.

The $12 million-dollar investment will support nine innovative projects designed to help up to 2,000 people leaving the justice system or with prior criminal records find meaningful jobs with local businesses, helping them create connections and a sense of belonging within their communities. More than 1 million people in Ontario live with a criminal record, which can decrease the chances of a second interview by 50 percent and drastically increases the likelihood of long-term poverty. Stable employment has been shown to help address the root causes of crime and reduce the likelihood of someone re-offending.

Led by various organizations across multiple sectors, the programs announced will prepare job seekers for well-paying careers in construction, manufacturing, hospitality, food and beverage processing, and other industries. They will provide a range of employment and training needs through apprenticeship and technical training, on-the-job learning, and improving job readiness and interview skills. The projects include wrap-around support like mentorship, job placement, and mental health resources to ensure a smooth transition to the job market.

The government will be unveiling additional programs to help people with prior involvement in the criminal justice system over the coming months. These projects are funded through the Skills Development Fund, a $700 million initiative, which supports ground-breaking programs that connect job seekers with the skills and training they need to find well-paying careers close to home.

Quick Facts

  • In the winter, there were over 316,000 job vacancies in Ontario.
  • Through its first two funding rounds, the Skills Development Fund has supported 388 projects aiming to help nearly 400,000 people around the province take the next step in their careers.
  • Ontario’s Skills Development Fund is supported through labour market transfer agreements between the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.
  • This year the government is investing $1.9 million in the Corrections Literacy Initiative to help close to 1,000 learners across 13 correctional facilities improve their math, reading, and writing skills. This improves their chances to land a good job after they have served their sentence.