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Why Become a Personal Support Worker in Ontario Right Now?

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    f you are considering building a career as a Personal Support Worker (PSW) in Ontario, then this is the right time to do so. With the Ontario government investing $54.7 million into the financial support program to address the shortage of PSWs in the province, it has come as a boon for those who wish to pursue PSW courses in Ontario

    The move further strengthens the continuous efforts of the provincial government to boost the healthcare system by making it easier for people to become personal support workers in Ontario. The relaunch of the financial support program this year has paved the way for around 4,000 new students to take up PSW certificate courses at private career colleges in Ontario. 

    According to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC), there are 90,000 PSWs employed in Ontario, and there are numerous employment openings in this industry. The job prospects for PSWs look bright in Ontario and it is a good time to enroll in a PSW certificate program.

    What is the Financial Support Program About? 

    The financial support program is aimed at providing financial assistance to eligible students who enroll in an approved personal support worker program at a private college between June 1 and September 30, 2022. A maximum amount of $13,690 is expected to be given to eligible students that will cover the tuition costs, academic expenses, books, mandatory fees, and a stipend for clinical work training. 

    The new students can avail of this funding by enrolling in a PSW program at one of the private career colleges approved under the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP). 

    Counting this measure to be in the right direction, Adrian Sharma, Chair of Career Colleges Ontario said in an official press release, “Private career colleges are critical to meet the pressing demand of local health care facilities and long-term care homes. With the re-launched financial support program, private career colleges can continue to provide our health care system with much-needed, well-trained workers in numerous communities across the province.”

    The financial support program falls under the Ontario government’s Long-Term Care Staffing Plan, which aims to provide more PSWs for care homes. The goal is for the long-term care facilities to provide residents with four hours on average of direct care daily. 

    Impact of the Financial Support Program  

    The Ontario government has been building resilient healthcare facilities and providing the best services to denizens by training more and more healthcare professionals. The first leg of financial support for PSW training through private career colleges was launched in 2021, and it helped nearly 3,000 new PSWs to complete their training and graduate with PSW certifications. 

    Some important facts:

    • Official records state that in 2021-22, the province committed to investing up to $200 million to train approximately 16,200 new personal support workers by roping in publicly-assisted colleges, private career colleges, and district school boards.
    • Private career colleges train the majority of PSWs in Ontario, where PSW training is the second-highest enrolment category.
    • In March this year, the provincial government announced its plan to pump in a sum of around $34 million over four years to enhance PSW and nursing enrolment at six Indigenous Institutes.
    • Ontario’s Long-Term Care Staffing Plan aims at increasing the direct care hours for residents to an average of four hours per resident, per day by March 31, 2025. It is expected to generate more jobs, improve the work environment for existing staff, push for better leadership, and have retention strategies in place.
    • Personal support worker job postings have increased by over 443 percent since 2017, with over 5,000 jobs posted in 2021. 

    Current Trends in PSW Jobs in Ontario 

    Reiterating the statistics from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, currently, there are approximately 90,000 personal support workers in Ontario, which makes for one of the largest healthcare workforces forming an integral part of the healthcare delivery system.

    PSW jobs can be found in various healthcare-providing institutions and settings across the province. You can also check the Job Bank openings for PSWs

    The city of Toronto witnesses the bulk of PSWs getting employed in different healthcare facilities and community-based settings along with the suburbs of Brampton and Mississauga.

    According to official estimates, the need for care workers in the public healthcare settings vertical is expected to double in the next five to ten years.

    Future Trends for PSW Jobs 

    Keeping in mind the growing need for PSWs in the province, the Ontario Government has taken some steps to promote this field. The implemented changes include:

    • A cap on all doctors’ total amount of salaries paid, with the money raised going toward hiring more personal support workers.
    • Over the ensuing few years, funding for home and community care will be raised by 4 percent.

    Under the aegis of the Healthcare Action plan, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is planning to add four million hours of community-based care by PSWs over a span of four years.

    This is expected to generate around 2100 new full-time PSW jobs in Ontario in the coming few years.

    Final Thoughts

    With the personal support workers’ profession in high demand in the Ontario region, it’s a perfect choice to boost your career. The government support that it is getting is a signal of robust growth ahead.

    Looking for a PSW Certificate Program to enroll in?

    ABM College is an OSAP-approved career college that offers a comprehensive and dynamic PSW Certificate program to make students industry-ready.

    Contact us now to learn more.

    You can also visit our blog for more articles. 

    Picture credits:

    A student writing on their notebook.

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