WELLAND – Niagara College has started accepting applications to Ontario’s new accelerated training program for Personal Support Workers.
The program, which is tuition-free for the first 6,000 students, is part of the Ontario government’s $115 million investment to train up to 8,200 new personal support workers (PSWs) for high-demand jobs in Ontario’s health and long-term care sectors. In collaboration with Colleges Ontario, all 24 publicly assisted colleges will offer this innovative, fully funded program.
The Accelerated PSW Training Program 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.
It is part of the government’s Long-Term Care Staffing Plan, which it claims is one of the largest recruitment and training drives in the province’s history.
Colleges across Ontario are now accepting applications for this new program. This includes Niagara College, with campuses in Niagara-on-the-Lake and Welland.
“This is a significant investment to recruit and retain frontline workers for long-term care homes across the province and in Niagara,” said Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West.
There are 32 long-term care homes in the region, which has one of the largest number of seniors in the province.
“Personal support workers have been frontline heroes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, providing critical care to those who most need it right now,” said Sean Kennedy, President of Niagara College. “Niagara College has a long history of providing high quality, hands-on training for Personal Support Workers through our School of Nursing and Personal Support Worker Studies. We’re well-positioned to leverage this important initiative to educate highly-trained, much-needed PSWs.”
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.
Registration for the program is available through the Ontario College Application Service.