Report: $1.2B Employment Ontario program overlooks the challenge of finding a job with a criminal record

Crime Prevention Ottawa has released a report that identifies the barriers faced by men with criminal records in the Ontario Employment Service Programs.  The report makes recommendations for changes to remove the barriers and address the identified issues.  The Turner Consulting Group – which has decades of experience in equity, diversity and inclusion work – prepared the report on behalf of CPO.

This report summarizes the Ontario’s Employment Service Program, and presents findings from 5 interviews with service providers contracted to deliver the Employment Service Program.

The Ontario Employment Service Program is set up in a way that is less likely to help Black and Indigenous people compared to the rest of the population. Employers can be part of the solution by better evaluating candidates with criminal records.

Recommendations to support job seekers with a criminal record include:

  • Encouraging employers to appropriately evaluate candidates with a criminal record
  • Policy changes to the Employment Ontario program 
  • Ideas for service providing agencies:
    • Improving accessibility of services 
    • Providing culturally appropriate services
    • Supporting young people to retain jobs