The Ontario government said it is investing more than $300 million over the next three years to help people "launch careers as personal support workers in long-term care homes" as well as in the home-care sector.
Long-Term Care Minister Stan Cho said the recruiting effort is part of the province’s Your Health plan to connect long-term care residents to more hours of direct care and expand home care services.
“Our government is fixing long-term care by training, hiring and retaining thousands of people to provide high quality care for residents,” said Cho.
“These incentives will help people launch rewarding careers, increase the hours of direct care our residents connect to, and support the staffing needs of rural, remote and northern long-term care homes,” he added.
Under the new program the province will offer incentives of up to $25,400 to students and recent graduates of personal support worker education programs, said the news release.
This will include the following:
-Up to $5,400 to students while they complete their clinical placement in long-term care or home and community care;
-Up to $10,000 for current students and recent graduates who commit to working in a long-term care home or with a home and community care service provider for 12 months; and
-Up to $10,000 to help with relocation costs to graduates who commit to working in a long-term care home or with a home and community care service provider in a rural, remote or northern community for 12 months.
These incentives are retroactive to April 1, 2023 for students who recently completed their clinical placements and personal support workers who started working in long-term care or home and community care.
Students who started a district school board personal support worker program on or after April 1, 2023 will also have their student fees waived or reimbursed.
“Personal support workers play a critical role in helping people in Ontario connect to the care they need in the comfort of their own home and in their local community,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.
“Bolstering our number of personal support workers in the home care sector allows us to increase people’s access to in-home services which prevents unnecessary hospital and long-term care admissions, shortens hospital stays and provides people with the choice to stay in their own home longer," said Jones.
For information on becoming a personal support worker and how to take advantage of the government incentives, visit this website. PSW courses are being offered at all public community colleges across Northern Ontario.