Ontario’s Investment in Personal Support Workers a Good First Step
The provincial government has announced more than $4 million in funding to help train PSWs
Cambridge, ON—CLAC congratulates the Ontario government for its investment of more than $4 million in innovative programs that will train 373 personal support workers (PSWs) for the express purpose of strengthening the province’s long term care (LTC) sector.
Today’s announcement from the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development noted that eight projects will benefit from the funding, including those at Mohawk College of Applied Arts & Technology, the Canadian Career Academy of Business & Technology, and Canadore College. These programs will help connect those needing meaningful work with the training required to enter the severely understaffed LTC sector.
“The injection of funds into the training of more than 300 PSWs is welcome, both for the province’s workers and for its healthcare system at large,” says Ian DeWaard, CLAC Ontario director.
“These newly trained recruits will help an industry that has long suffered from a PSW shortage and will help to ensure that Ontario’s healthcare is better prepared for the challenges ahead.”
The province has estimated that it requires 27,000 more registered practical nurses (RPNs) and PSWs in long term care to meet the commitment for four hours of care per resident per day and to provide 15,000 new long term care beds.
DeWaard adds that today’s investment in PSW training is an important step in helping to solve the staffing crisis in long term care. CLAC also continues to advocate for better compensation for front-line healthcare workers, as the temporary pandemic pay for PSWs is set to expire in March. As well, many low-wage front-line healthcare workers still have wages capped due to Bill 124 wage restraint legislation introduced in 2019.
“In order to make long term care work, the province needs staff who are well-trained and in sufficient supply,” notes DeWaard. “But to get there, we also need well-paying, full-time jobs that will attract and retain an able workforce.”
For further details on this initiative, visit the government of Ontario’s website. For CLAC’s 2021 prebudget submission to the Ontario government outlining the needs of the province’s long term care sector, click here.