The Ontario government is investing over $115 million to train up to 8,200 new personal support workers for high-demand jobs in Ontario's health and long-term care sectors, including Northwestern Ontario. 

Premier Doug Ford announced that, in collaboration with Colleges Ontario, all 24 publicly assisted colleges will offer this innovative, fully funded program starting in April 2021. This includes Confederation College. It is anticipated that the new PSWs will be ready to work in long-term care by the fall.

"We are taking monumental steps to protect our most vulnerable and provide the highest quality of care when and where residents need it," said Premier Ford.

"We will achieve this by recruiting and training some of our best and brightest to be PSWs. This will improve the quality of life for our seniors and begin to correct the decades of neglect in this sector."

The Accelerated PSW Training Program is a tuition-free opportunity for 6,000 new students and is expected to take only six months to complete, rather than the typical eight months.

The province is also offering tuition assistance to students who are close to finishing an existing PSW program at one of Ontario's publicly-assisted colleges. Nearly 2,200 students will be eligible to receive a $2,000 tuition grant to help them complete their studies, as well as a stipend to complete the clinical placement part of their training.

"This announcement is another major step towards hiring enough Personal Support Workers to provide the nation-leading four hours on average of direct daily care to residents," said Minister Merrilee Fullerton. 

"Modernizing long-term care requires innovative solutions and programs that allow us to recruit and train PSWs quickly so that they can begin their meaningful work caring for our loved ones."

This is part of the government's Long-Term Care Staffing Plan, one of the largest PSW recruitment and training drives in the province's history.