TORONTO — The Ontario government is providing $86 million to help train up to 8,000 personal support workers (PSWs) through private career colleges and district school boards. This investment is part of the government’s Long-Term Care Staffing Plan and is yet another way the province is collaborating with key partners to improve the care and quality of life of people living in long-term care.
“Personal support workers are the backbone of long-term care and do vital work every day so that our loved ones receive the care they need and deserve,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care. “This investment will help us deliver on our government’s Canada-leading commitment to ensure residents receive, on average, four hours of direct daily care per day and enable thousands of Ontarians to embark on new careers in the healthcare sector.”
Financial support will be available to new students enrolled in a PSW program at one of the participating Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) approved private career colleges. Eligible students in private career colleges can receive up to $13,235 to cover the costs of tuition, books and other mandatory fees, as well as a stipend for a clinical work placement. To be eligible for financial support, students must start their PSW training at a participating private career college between May 1 and July 31, 2021.
“Ontario’s private career colleges provide world-class training for our frontline healthcare workers, including PSWs,” said Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “We’re making it easier for more students to access personal support worker programs at private career colleges to prepare them for critical jobs caring for some of the most vulnerable people in Ontario.”
Financial support will also be available to students enrolled in a PSW program at an Ontario district school board. Eligible students could receive up to $7,735 for equipment, books and other mandatory fees, as well as a stipend for a guaranteed work placement. To be eligible for financial support, students must either be currently enrolled in a PSW program during the 2020-21 school year (as of September 2020) or must begin classes between April 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022.
“Through adult and continuing education programs, we are helping to train additional personal support workers to protect Ontario seniors and their families,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. “We are creating opportunities and investing more so individuals can concurrently earn their Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) and a PSW certification.”
Today’s announcement builds on the Province’s recent investment of $115 million to train up to 8,200 PSWs at Ontario’s publicly assisted colleges in partnership with Colleges Ontario. The Ontario government is also investing $239 million to extend temporary wage enhancements for PSWs and direct support workers in publicly funded home and community care, long-term care, public hospitals, and social services sectors.