Ontario Enhancing Personal Support Worker Training

TORONTO — The Ontario government is continuing to build a more resilient health care system for generations to come by making it easier to become a personal support worker (PSW). Ontario is re-launching a $54.7 million financial support program for up to 4,000 new students at private career colleges in Ontario, which will help address the shortage of PSWs in the province.

“Our government is committed to making investments that will ensure Ontarians have access to the care they need, and private career colleges have an excellent track record preparing students for in-demand roles in health and long-term care,” said Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “We’re making it easier for more students to train as personal support workers at private career colleges to prepare them for critical jobs caring for some of the most vulnerable people as we build a more resilient and stronger health care system across Ontario.”

Through this investment, for eligible students who enrol between June 1 and September 30, 2022, financial support of up to $13,690 will be available to cover the costs of tuition, books and other mandatory fees, as well as a stipend for a clinical work placement. This funding 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.

“Private Career Colleges are critical to meet the pressing demand of local health care facilities and long-term care homes,” said Adrian Sharma, Chair of Career Colleges Ontario. “With the re-launched financial support program announced today, Private Career Colleges can continue to provide our health care system with much-needed, well-trained workers in numerous communities across the province.”

This investment supports the government's Long-Term Care Staffing Plan, so that long-term care homes can provide an average of four hours of direct care per day to residents, and as well our commitment to modernizing home and community care that will establish integrated and innovative models of care to keep people healthier at home.

Quick Facts

  • In 2021-22, the province committed to spending up to $200 million to train up to 16,200 additional personal support workers through publicly-assisted colleges, private career colleges and district school boards.
  • The first round of financial support for PSW training through private career colleges, launched in 2021, resulted in approximately 3,000 new PSWs completing training and graduating.
  • PSW training is the second highest enrolment category at private career colleges in Ontario, and private career colleges train the majority of PSWs in the province.
  • On March 2, 2022, the government announced an investment of up to $34 million over four years to increase enrolment in personal support worker and nursing programs at six Indigenous Institutes.

  • 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 a system average of four hours per resident, per day by March 31, 2025. The plan sets out actions to hire more staff, improve working conditions for existing staff, drive effective and accountable leadership, and implement retention strategies.
  • Job postings for personal support workers have more than quadrupled (+443 per cent) since 2017, with over 5,000 postings in 2021.

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