Canadian Pizza Magazine

Ontario programs support second-chance hiring in hospitality and other sectors

By Bakers Journal   

News Business and Operations Staffing

Toronto — The Ontario government is providing $12 million in funding to support nine innovative projects, including hospitality projects, designed to help people leaving the justice system or with prior criminal records find meaningful jobs with local businesses.

More than one million people in Ontario live with a criminal record, which can decrease the chances of a second interview by 50 per cent 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, the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development said in a news release.

Led by various organizations across multiple sectors, the new programs 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 mentorship, job placement and mental health resources to ensure a smooth transition to the job market.

Two of the programs focus on the food-service and hospitality industry. Calibre Recruitment Inc. is receiving $590,365 for a project that aims to reduce the barriers that people with previous interactions with the criminal justice system face when trying to access employment, while also helping local employers address critical labour shortages. The project will help 30 people access employment in sectors including food and beverage processing, hospitality, and manufacturing in communities in London and the surrounding area.


Scale Hospitality is receiving $6,000,000 to support an industry-led initiative aimed at supporting growth in the hospitality sector through various training opportunities. These include initiatives such as micro-credential training programs and increasing accessibility for those who face barriers to employment through community partnerships. This project will help 1,205 people work in hospitality in communities in the Toronto area.

The government will be unveiling additional programs to help people with prior involvement in the criminal justice system over the coming months. They are funded through the Skills Development Fund, a $700-million initiative.

For more information and the full list of funding recipients, visit

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