Ontario to provide tuition-free training for 6,000 new PSWs

Up to 8,200 new PSWs will be ready to work in Long-Term Care by fall 2021

On February 24, Premier Doug Ford, Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care, and Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities announced that the Ontario government is investing over $115 million to train up to 8,200 new personal support workers (PSWs) for high-demand jobs in Ontario’s health and long-term care sectors. In collaboration with Colleges Ontario, all 24 publicly assisted colleges will offer this innovative, fully funded program starting in April 2021. 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.

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. After three months of coursework, and experiential learning in a clinical setting, students will complete the final three months in paid onsite training in a long-term care home or in a home and community care environment. Registration for the program will be available through the Ontario College Application Service and is expected to open in early March.

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.

Minister Fullerton said, “Today’s 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. 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.”


Yelich,I.,Caputo,K.(2021,Feb.24) Ontario Invests in Historic Campaign to Accelerate Training for Personal Support Workers [media release]

photo George Brown College

One comment

  1. Eden Guidroz

    This is excellent news that the province will fund tuition costs for training new PSW’s who are so much needed in order to care for the elderly. However more provincial funding is needed to continue such tuition funding for several years so that there will be adequate numbers of PSW’S over the next decade and beyond. Also additional funding is needed to enhance the wages of PSW’s so that the people doing this vital work are paid adequately and will not have to work multiple jobs in order to make ends meet. All the lessons learned from the hardships experienced by the elderly during this Covid pandemic will require thorough brainstorming and creative thinking to reach broad and effective solutions for all concerned.

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