Government Program to Recruit 8200 Personal Support Workers: PART 1

Fully government funded PSW training program that lets you become a Personal Support Worker in 6 months.

Last year, the Government of Ontario made a promise to strengthen healthcare delivery, especially in long-term care homes.

In addition, the Government announced plans for education, training, and to provide full-time employment to 27,000 Registered Nurses (RNs), Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs), and Personal Support Workers (PSWs). 

The registration for the PSW program to train and recruit 6000 PSWs is now open. 

Click here to view further details and how to register.

Working towards fulfilling this promise, there have been many programs launched by Governments at various levels.

All these programs are being offered at little to no cost to the students. 

There is a program to train and recruit 373 PSWs, a return of service $5000 incentive associated with certain PSW jobs posted through Health Force Ontario, a Resident Support Aide program, and a PSW “Work for Life” awareness program about the opportunities and benefits of becoming a Personal Support Worker.  

There is also an initiative funded by the Federal Government

Through this federal program, 4000 individuals will be provided education and training to become Personal Support Workers however we are awaiting the release of further details.

Hiring 8200 Personal Support Workers

According to the Government of Ontario’s latest announcement, 8200 individuals will be able to benefit from this new accelerated PSW training program

It is one of the largest roll-outs of Government programs in history aimed at providing free education, training, and subsequent employment to such a large number of students. 

Here are some of the key points you may want to know about this program:

Funded byGovernment of Ontario
Cost to StudentsTuition Free Program
Program Offered by Community Colleges
At Which Colleges? All Community Colleges in Ontario
Who can Apply?Canadian Residents
Students To be Admitted6000
Existing PSW Students to Benefit2200
Benefit for Existing Student$2000 each
Existing PSW Student BenefitFor those in Community Colleges
Applications OpenEarly March, 2021
Program BeginsEarly-mid April, 2021
Total Duration6 Months
Course WorkFirst 3 Months
Practicum BeginsAfter 3 Months
Practicum Paid?Yes
Practicum LocationLong-term Care
Community Settings

What is the New Government Program?

The Ontario government is investing approximately $115 million to train  8,200 PSWs for Ontario’s healthcare and long-term care sectors. 

Funding will be dispersed amongst new students and qualifying PSW students who are already enrolled in existing programs. 

6000 students will get the opportunity to take this program free of cost. 

2200 students who are already enrolled in a PSW program at publically funded Community Colleges will receive $2000 in benefit.

Please check with your college to see if you qualify as a current student. 

Most colleges will consider you a current PSW student if you started the program in January 2021. 

The government is collaborating with 24 publicly assisted colleges to provide a fully-funded program for interested students.

Largest Educational Program of its Kind

As of today, this initiative is one of the largest funded recruiting and training plans in Ontario history. 

A similar initiative of a smaller magnitude was announced in mid-February 2021, stating that the Government would invest up to $4.1 million to fund 373 PSWs for the province’s healthcare sector

This plan fell under intense scrutiny and was clearly not enough.

It was inadequate with a very limited number of available spots. 

While still not sufficient to meet the needs of people who need care, this new plan to assist 8200 students is definitely of a much larger scale. 

The Delay in Implementing Such Programs

The Government of Ontario initially started planning these programs in the summer of 2019.

When the pandemic struck, the province had to scramble through a three-tiered plan:

  • Emergency response,
  • Stabilization, and
  • Long-term care improvement.

The government has been aware of the staff shortages in long-term care, which has worsened with the onset of COVID-19. 

Keep in mind that this may not be the last Government initiative to ramp up care delivery in long-term care homes.

It is the Government’s resolve to fill 27,000 full-time positions by 2024-2025. 

Do note that these full-time positions are for Registered Nurses (RNs), Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs) and Personal Support Workers combined. 

Accelerated PSW Program Details

The new tuition-free PSW program is going to be offered in collaboration with 24 publically funded Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology in Ontario.

Registration for the FREE Government-sponsored accelerated PSW program is open and applications are being accepted. 

Click here to view further details and how to register. 

For those who wish to be informed of such opportunities in the future but are not subscribers of PSWHQ, you can subscribe by filling out the form below. 

How Many Students is the Program Accepting?

This accelerated tuition-free PSW program is going to provide optimal training and certification for 6,000 new students.

Programs will be facilitated by 24 Community Colleges across Ontario. 

How Long is the PSW Program?

Instead of the average 8 months, it takes to complete a PSW certificate program, this accelerated PSW training program will have you trained and certified in 6 months.

There are two components of this program.

Course Curriculum

This section of the course is comprised of a 3-month in-class educational component that will be completed at the Community College. 


The theory component of the program will be followed by a 3-month practicum that will take place at any of the following settings:

  • The long-term care home,
  • In a home, or
  • Community care environment.

Tuition-Free PSW Program

To obtain a PSW certificate typically costs anywhere between $4000 to $10,000. 

It may cost even more at a Private Career College

This program is offered at no cost to you!

It is a tuition-free program, fully funded by the provincial government. 

Earn As You Learn: Paid Training

As previously mentioned, the program comprises theory and training components. 

The course curriculum will be completed in a classroom setting while training will be hands-on. 

The best part is, 

You will be paid to complete the 3-month training. 

This is a huge bonus that gives you an opportunity to start earning after 3 months of being enrolled in the program.  

Tuition Grant for Existing Students

The Ontario Government is also providing tuition assistance through this initiative to students who are already enrolled in existing PSW programs.

2200 PSW students will receive a $2,000 tuition grant to aid them in completing their studies. 

This grant will also include a stipend in order to complete the clinical placement portion of their PSW program.

Existing PSW Students to Benefit2200 Students
Benefit for Existing Student$2000 each
Existing PSW Student BenefitFor those in Community Colleges
How to Get the BenefitContact Your College
Private College PSW StudentsDo Not Qualify

Please note that the tuition grant is only available to PSW students who are enrolled in publically funded Community Colleges. 

It is not available to the students who are enrolled in Private Career Colleges. 

When Does Registration Open?

Registration for this accelerated PSW training program will be available through the Ontario College Application Centre. 

Registration has started and applications are being accepted. 

Click here to view further details and find out how to register. 

If you’d like to be informed of programs like these in the future, fill out the form below to subscribe for updates.

You do not have to subscribe if you already receive our emails. 

The program is being offered with starts in April, May, and June 2021. 

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Avlin is passionate about helping aspirants become better personal support workers. He is an entrepreneur and runs a clinic in Toronto.

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  1. I am an international student from Pakistan but i am interested in PSW Training Program. As i am an international student i can not pay such huge amount once. Can i get a loan from any recommended entity to do this training program and then after completion of the training when i will be on board i will pay back the loan. Please do let me know at your earliest


    Amna Khawar

  2. I am an Indian dentist with 8 years of experience, interested in doing this program. Please advise.
    Thank you very much.

  3. I am a train certifity Practical Nurse and Psychiatric Aide , Migrated to Canada as a Permament Resident with 20 years work experiene and seeking a lisence as a P S W .How can I get started.Pp

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