(Please note that the facts and information provided in this post is current as of March 07, 2021. If you’re reading this at a future date, the programs may not be offered. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions).
In recent months, the Government of Ontario has taken drastic, financial measures to stabilize the healthcare workforce.
Many free programs and incentives have been rolled out to meet the ever-increasing demand for more Personal Support Workers.
It can be confusing to decide which program or benefit is best for you.
For your convenience, we have gathered information about all the educational and supportive programs for Personal Support Workers.
We have compiled everything that the Government has rolled out in this post.
While we think we have done comprehensive research, we may have missed something.
You can let us know by leaving a comment in the comments section at the end.
The Demand for PSWs
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the potential for near-future surges of infection rates, the Government acknowledges the dangers of having a weakened healthcare system due to inefficient staffing and medical support.
Before the pandemic, medical facilities across Canada have been experiencing a steady decline in available support workers.
This year, measures have been taken to provide the long-overdue recognition and support that frontline healthcare workers desperately require.
As of September 2020, the Government has invested roughly $50 million in order to support, recruit, and retain frontline healthcare workers specifically for vulnerable populations in long-term care homes.
This includes nurses, personal support workers, and other relevant workers who care for seniors and long-term care residents.
The Government has also committed to investing millions upon millions more as part of the COVID-19 preparedness plan.
For this post, we are focusing on the ever-growing need for more personal support workers (PSWs) and the latest Government initiatives being used to build the healthcare workforce.
If you have been thinking of working in Canadian healthcare and becoming a personal support worker, the time could not be better.
Why the Government Intervention?
Over the past several years, there has been a lot of hue and cry for the need to revamp the Personal Support Worker industry.
There was a need for Government intervention to support the PSW profession and recognize PSWs as essential members of the Canadian healthcare system, especially in the long-term care sector.
It finally happened with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Government at various levels have realized how important a role PSWs play in delivering essential services to those in need.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a massive staffing void in Canadian healthcare, largely contributed by budget constraints.
As the pandemic hit, the situation became dire with facilities scrambling to hire more healthcare workers.
The Government finally realized that personal support workers are the backbone of Canadian healthcare and for the delivery of services that matter the most.
Filling the Void
Over the past few months, Governments at various levels have launched programs to educate, hire and retain PSWs.
Federal and Provincial Funding
PSW programs are being funded both at the federal and provincial levels.
There is a program funded by the Government of Canada and then there is a much larger program funded by the Government of Ontario.
Registration for the Government of Ontario-funded accelerated PSW program is now open.
It is important for you to realize the differences between various programs.
All the available programs, benefits, and incentives are listed here.
And that is what you’ll learn here.
List of Government Funded PSW Programs
|Train & Recruit||Free Education|
|Train & Recruit||Free Education|
|Return of Service|
|$5000||PSW Jobs via HFO|
|Resident Support Aide||Free Training|
|PSW Work for Life||Opportunities|
|All current &
Funded Programs and You
Here you will find descriptions of all the programs mentioned in the list above with links to more in-depth resources.
Train and Recruit 8200 PSWs
This is a new fully funded, accelerated program that allows you to become a Personal Support Worker in 6 months.
The program is offered through publically funded community colleges.
There is an initial, non-refundable application fee of $95 but beyond that, there is no other cost.
There may be some other costs to obtain your vulnerable screening.
Textbooks are covered under the program.
The program is split into two parts, theory, and field placement.
The theory component may be in-class or online.
The paid field placement is for 3 months.
Across Ontario, 6000 students will be accepted into this program.
Registration for this program is now open.
Train and Recruit 373 PSWs
Before the above program was launched, the Ontario Government had rolled out a much smaller program to train and recruit 373 PSWs.
This was clearly not enough!
Moreover, the program was offered through private partnerships with very few spots across Ontario.
As a result, many people were unable to get into the program.
You can click here to learn more about this program.
An incentive for Existing PSW Students
The Government of Ontario is offering a $2000 incentive to students who are currently enrolled in PSW programs.
You must be enrolled at a publically-funded community college.
There are qualification criteria for this incentive depending upon when you started the program.
It is best that you check with your College to see if you are eligible to receive this $2000 incentive.
Students taking PSW program at private career colleges, unfortunately, do not qualify for this incentive.
two most important Government-funded educational programs.
One that enables you to become a Resident Support Aide and the other is to become a Personal Support Worker.
There are two programs that are being offered.
There are key differences between the two programs.
Below is important information that makes these programs distinct.
One particular program may suit you better than the other.
So, the information presented below will help you make an informed choice.
(Please note that, if you’re reading this at a future date these programs may not be offered.
The Free PSW Program
The Government of Canada, in partnership with Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan), is offering a PSW educational program at no cost to the student.
This Government-funded free PSW program is to be rolled out in the spring of 2021.
It is going to be offered completely online.
The practical component of the course will be in person.
The best thing is, you’ll be paid as you complete your practicum.
The Resident Support Aide Program
This is a Government of Ontario resident support initiative to help recruit individuals to provide support in long-term care homes.
This is also a free program and requires you to complete a short online educational component.
The online training is paid for.
Once you have completed the online training, you become eligible to work in long-term care homes as a Resident Support Aide.
It is important for you to understand that the Resident Support Aide program, is a Resident Support Aide program!
It will not qualify you to become a Personal Support Worker.
There are many other differences that you can read below.
There is much confusion over the above listed two programs.
Many wonder which one is a better choice?
Here are some key characteristics of both programs.
The table below will provide you a better understanding and enable you in making an informed choice that suits you the best.
|Free PSW Program||Free Resident Support Aide Program|
|Job Title||Personal Support Worker (PSW)||Resident Support Aide|
|Funded by||Government of Canada||Government of Ontario|
|Mode of Delivery||Online||Online|
|Resident Status Required||Canadian Citizen|
Canadian Permanent Resident
Canadian Work Permit
Canadian Permanent Resident
Canadian Work Permit
|Healthcare Background||Not Required||Not Required|
|College||Public or Private College||Mediated by The Michener Institute of Education at UHN|
|Total Course Duration||30 Weeks||15 Hours|
|Duration of Theory||6 week accelerated||15 hours|
|Duration of Practicum||24 weeks||None|
|Paid Training||24 week practicum is paid||15 hours of online training is paid|
|Hourly Salary||Upwards of $22/hr||$17/hr|
|Vulnerable Sector Check||Required||Required|
|How to Apply||Registration to Open Soon||More Information|
As you can see, there are some similarities however the two programs are quite different.
The choice is yours and one might suit you better than the other.
Hope this information clears the air around the two programs.
If you still have questions, email me at email@example.com and I’ll be glad to answer your queries.
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