The Ontario government is fast tracking the training of up to 8,200 new personal support workers (in Ontario’s health and long-term care sectors. The $115 Million plan will involve all 24 publicly assisted colleges in the province starting in April 2021.
The Accelerated PSW Training Program is a tuition-free opportunity for 6,000 new students and is expected to take only six months to complete, rather than the typical eight months. After three months of coursework, and experiential learning in a clinical setting, students will complete the final three months in paid onsite training in a long-term care home or in a home and community care environment. Registration for the program will be available through the Ontario College Application Service and is expected to open in early March.
The province is also offering tuition assistance to students who are close to finishing an existing PSW program at one of Ontario’s publicly-assisted colleges. Nearly 2,200 students will be eligible to receive a $2,000 tuition grant to help them complete their studies, as well as a stipend to complete the clinical placement part of their training.
Premier Ford said he plans to make the $3-an-hour raise given to PSWs at the beginning of the pandemic, permanent.
The long-term care staffing plan responds to recommendations from Justice Gillese’s Public Inquiry Report on the Safety and Security of Residents in the Long-Term Care Homes System, the Long-Term Care Staffing Study released this past July, interim recommendations from the Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission, and submissions and reports from long-term care organizations and other partners.