Ontario Expanding Personal Support Worker Training Program in Long-Term Care
Training hundreds of additional personal support workers will connect residents to more hours of direct care
June 22, 2023
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TORONTO — The Ontario government is investing $16.5 million to train up to 600 new personal support workers across the province as part of its commitment to ensure long-term care residents receive an average of four hours of hands-on direct care each day by 2025. The Learn and Earn Accelerated Program for Personal Support Workers in Long-Term Care (LEAP LTC) is an online program in partnership with Humber College that accelerates the training of existing long-term care staff, such as resident attendants and dietary aides, to become personal support workers.
“LEAP LTC will help long-term care workers grow their careers, support the staffing needs of rural, remote and northern long-term care homes and most importantly, increase care for residents,” said Paul Calandra, Minister of Long-Term Care. “This is part of our plan to hire and retain thousands of personal support workers and nurses as we work to implement a nation-leading standard of four hours of care, per resident, per day.”
First launched in 2022, LEAP LTC consists of full-time online coursework followed by a paid on-site clinical placement at the long-term care home where the participant already works. This makes it possible for people to build their skills without leaving their communities. By providing training, financial and mentorship support to participants, the program helps them overcome geographical and financial barriers that may hinder their career growth.
The government is fixing long-term care to ensure Ontario’s seniors get the quality of care and quality of life they need and deserve both now and in the future. This work is built on four pillars: staffing and care; quality and enforcement; building modern, safe, and comfortable homes; and providing seniors with faster, more convenient access to the services they need.
- LEAP LTC was developed from a pilot project launched in 2022-23, in which the Ontario government invested $1.575 million in a partnership with Humber College and Revera, to upskill existing long-term care staff to become personal support workers.
- Funding for LEAP LTC is provided through Ontario’s long-term care staffing plan.
- The Ontario government is providing up to $1.25 billion this year to long-term care homes to hire and retain thousands more long-term care staff. This is part of the government’s historic four-year, $4.9 billion commitment to increase the provincewide average direct care time provided by registered nurses, registered practical nurses and personal support workers to four hours per resident, per day, by March 31, 2025.
- Through a $6.4 billion investment, Ontario now has 31,705 new and 28,648 upgraded beds in development across the province. This will help increase overall bed capacity, address long-term care waitlists and hallway health care, and provide our seniors the care they deserve.
- On February 2, 2023, the Ontario government released Your Health: A Plan for Connected and Convenient Care. The plan focuses on providing people with a better health care experience by connecting them to more convenient options closer to home while shortening wait times for key services across the province and growing the health care workforce for years to come.
“Personal support workers are an essential health human resource. Humber is proud to partner with the Ontario government on the Learn and Earn Accelerated Program for Personal Support Workers in Long-Term Care, helping existing employees of long-term care homes across Ontario upskill to become personal support workers and fill these important positions. As a leader in health care education, Humber looks forward to working with more long-term care partners across the province through the newly expanded pilot project. Together, we can help Ontarians in the field move into in-demand roles through online learning and paid clinical placements with their current employer, without having to sacrifice their earnings.”
– Ann Marie Vaughan
President and CEO, Humber College
“Our government is committed to increasing choices and reducing barriers to high‐quality, postsecondary education for students. Providing long-term care workers with a combination of virtual and in-person education and training options so they can upgrade their skills and become personal support workers will help meet the health care needs of more residents in local communities across Ontario.”
– Jill Dunlop
Minister of Colleges and Universities
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