TORONTO — Ontario colleges are now accepting applications to Ontario’s new accelerated training program for personal support workers (PSWs). The Ontario government is providing $115 million to train up to 8,200 new personal support workers for high-demand jobs in the health and long-term care sectors. This is part of the government’s Long-Term Care Staffing Plan, one of the largest PSW recruitment and training drives in the province’s history.
“Personal support workers are the backbone of long-term care and do vital work every day so that our loved ones receive the quality of care they need and deserve,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care. “I encourage Ontarians who may be considering training as a personal support worker to apply to one of the 24 Ontario colleges offering this innovative training program.”
In collaboration with Colleges Ontario, all 24 publicly-assisted colleges are offering this innovative, fully funded program. Registration for the program is available through the Ontario College Application Service.
The accelerated training program for PSWs 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. Graduates will be ready to work in long-term care and other health care settings by the fall of 2021.
“This is an excellent initiative to help fill the demand for personal support workers,” said Linda Franklin, the president and CEO of Colleges Ontario. “Our college graduates provide excellent quality of care to our most vulnerable citizens. This will further strengthen that quality of care during the fight against COVID-19 and beyond.”
The province is also offering tuition assistance to in-process PSW students who started the program at one of Ontario’s publicly-assisted colleges in January 2021. These 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.
“Our publicly assisted colleges provide world-class training for our frontline healthcare workers, including PSWS,” said Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “The Accelerated PSW Training Program is another example of our government’s collaboration with our post-secondary institutions to increase the supply of PSWs.”
This training program is yet another way Ontario is collaborating with key partners to provide innovative services and end hallway health care, build a 21st century long-term care system, and respond to the impact COVID-19 has had on seniors and their families.