The province has announced it will stop funding employment assistance services provided by dozens of organizations in Newfoundland and Labrador.

A total of $14 million in federal funding that is administered by the province will be reinvested.

Government said the intent is to put the money toward funding employment programs and services, such as skills-development training.

The cut is expected to force hundreds people across the province into unemployment.

Organizations caught off guard

Cindy Murphy, the executive director of the John Howard Society of Newfoundland and Labrador, said Friday's announcement is disappointing.

"We're shocked, I've got to be honest, and deeply disappointed because of the lack of service, not only for John Howard and the clients that we provide services to, but right across the province."

'It's going to have a profound impact on the people we serve.' —Cindy Murphy

The John Howard Society offers assistance to people who have been in trouble with the criminal justice system. The organization helps people find employment, which reduces their risk to reoffend.

"It's going to have a profound impact on the people that we serve," Murphy said.

"The employment and employability services that we provide has been a huge part of the successful reintegration of people coming out of custody."

Murphy called the decision short-sighted, and that it will result in a big loss for the people of the province.

A total of 40 organizations, and 72 sites, will be affected.

Opposition calls it mistake

Andrew Parsons, Liberal opposition critic for Advanced Education and Skills, said the decision is a big mistake.

"There's going to be hundreds of jobs lost in this province because of these cuts, many of them in rural areas and the majority of them to women," Parsons said.

Parsons said the government's goal of making things more efficient is a slap in the face to the people who currently work for these organizations.

"I don't know how you make something more efficient by cutting services to people, and these people are some of the most vulnerable."

He said government failed to think the decision out properly before making the cuts.