The Canadian government is looking to financially support programming that would train 4,000 personal support workers (PSW) in paid internship positions.
On Friday, the federal government said the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the increasing need for PSWs.
The Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, announced $23.2 million in funding for Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) to develop and implement an accelerated online program to train approximately 4,000 new personal support worker interns.
The program includes six weeks of online training followed by a four-month paid work-integrated learning placement with an employer in long-term care or home care.
This new training program will be offered at no cost to the trainees.
“As part of this project, CICan will work in collaboration with provinces, territories, employers, workers’ organizations, unions and training providers to begin a national dialogue on training standards for the supportive care sector,” the release said.
According to Qualtrough, the federal government is looking to improve retention, recruitment and retirement savings options for low- and modest-income workers, particularly those without existing workplace pension coverage, including PSWs.
“The Government recognizes the incredible work of our personal support workers across the country. They are taking care of our loved ones in a time of great uncertainty,” Qualtrough said.
“This project offers a way to get more workers trained quickly in order to meet Canada’s increasing long-term care and home-care needs. As we look to make historic investments in training, we need to be innovative in our approach and provide training opportunities that offer clear career paths.”
In the Fall Economic Statement, the government proposed to establish a new $1-billion Safe Long-term Care Fund to better support both those living in long-term care homes and those who work in them.