Province Providing Free Training for PSWs in Southwestern Ontario

New program connecting employers with job seekers in the region

February 11, 2022

WALLACEBURG — The Ontario government is connecting over 100 job seekers in Southwestern Ontario with paid training and job placements as personal support workers (PSWs) through the Grow Your Own HSW-PSW Partnership Program. This $2.5 million investment is helping address the shortage of PSWs and ensure residents get the high-quality health care they deserve.

“Across our province, there is a need for more PSWs to help take care of those in our community who need it most,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “That is why our government is investing in programs that connect people who have had difficulty finding work with free training and paid job placements in critical industries that are close to where they live.”

The Grow Your Own HSW-PSW Partnership Program is being offered in Lambton County, the City of Sarnia, Essex County, the City of Windsor, and the Municipality of Chatham-Kent.

“The partnership of Chatham-Kent Employment and Social Services, Ontario Works and the municipalities of Windsor and Lambton County is a model of how to address the shortage of essential health care workers,” said Darrin Canniff, Mayor of Chatham-Kent. “The program has provided 26 long-term care homes and health care providers with immediate and long-term staff at a time when we are reminded of how important these positions are to our community.”

The program, which is focused on training Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program recipients and others who have been laid off, is 30 weeks long and features a mix of online, in-person, and on-the-job training.

Participants are paid by employers throughout the program and can also receive up to $3,000 to offset costs like travel and childcare. After finishing the training, graduates will be ready to begin rewarding, full-time careers as PSWs with their respective employers.

Today’s investment is part of Ontario’s over $200-million Skills Development Fund designed to support fresh ideas for training and skills development that will help our economy recover and prosper. It builds on the government’s ongoing efforts to attract, support, and protect workers, making Ontario the top place in the world to work, live and raise a family.

Quick Facts

  • The Grow Your Own HSW-PSW Partnership Program is being delivered by SE Career College of Health.
  • Job postings for personal support workers have more than quadrupled (+443%) since 2017, with over 5,000 postings in 2021.
  • For more information on other PSW training programs, please contact your local Employment Ontario office.
  • A Better Place to Live; A Better Place to Work: Ontario’s Long-Term Care Staffing Plan is the province’s plan to increase the hours of direct care for residents to an average of four hours per day, making the province a leader in Canada. The plan sets out actions to hire more staff, improve working conditions for existing staff, drive effective and accountable leadership, and implement retention strategies.
  • Ontario’s Skills Development Fund is supported through labour market transfer agreements between the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.


“This is an exciting opportunity for individuals to earn while they learn. I’m thrilled that the Ontario government is focusing this investment on helping individuals gain the skills and training they need to begin fulfilling careers in health care.”

– Bob Bailey,
MPP for Sarnia-Lambton

“Since 2019, Employment and Social Services has worked collaboratively with community partners to address the PSW labour shortage. Because of the Skills Development Fund, we have been able to build upon the success of our employment program and expand the opportunity to more employers and job seekers looking to earn a meaningful living wage in an in-demand field of employment.”

– Matt Keech,
Program Manager, Employment & Social Services, Municipality of Chatham-Kent

“When I was accepted into the program, I was rejoining the workforce after three years as a full-time stay-at-home mom. At the time, I was questioning my confidence in myself and my ability to be a part of a health care team. This program has made a big difference in my life and my confidence.”

– Carla Lynch,
Program Participant

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