Ontario Is Hiring 8,000 Personal Support WorkersPublié le 26 February 2021
On February 24th, it was announced that the Government of Ontario is hiring 8,000 Personal Support Workers and providing tuition-free training, with the goal of having new PSWs working in hospitals, care facilities and homes by the end of 2021. This is a massive hiring program, and provides an opportunity for people who may be out of a job and are looking for work to get the training they need to enter Ontario’s healthcare sector and serve the most vulnerable members of our communities.
“This inspiring program will make a real difference to those who are unemployed and struggling. It will offer a helping hand to those who are looking for meaningful, rewarding work by training over 8,000 new skilled workers who can support and care for our most vulnerable.”
– Monte McNaughton
Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development
What Is A Personal Support Worker?
As defined by the Ontario Personal Support Worker Association, personal care is “a service that is provided to any person in their home or Long-Term Care that meets the supportive, physical, and psycho-social needs of that person” and Personal Support Workers “provide care to any person who requires personal assistance with activities of daily living.”
The duties and tasks of Personal Support Works are very varied, and can include:
- Preparation and feeding of meals
- Ensuring proper nutrition and hydration
- Lifting and transferring residents to different locations
- Assisting with hygiene, including bathing, teeth brushing and toileting
- Providing and administering medication and prescriptions
- Monitoring resident health through the use of thermometers and other instruments
- Housekeeping tasks such as laundry, mopping floors and washing dishes
Due to the fact that Personal Support Workers work with some of the most vulnerable members of our community in hospitals, care facilities and private homes, they must be aware of anything that could impact their physical or mental health. They need to be able to monitor residents for changes in their condition and be prepared to contact doctors and physicians at a moment’s notice.
Residents of long-term care facilities can have serious physical limitations, and Personal Support Workers are integral to ensuring that they have a life that is full, enjoyable and healthy. It can be a demanding job, both physically and emotionally, but PSWs can know that they provide vital care and make a huge difference in the daily lives of people.
In terms of salary, PSWs have a reported average salary of $18 per hour, but this can vary depending on where they are employed. The Government of Ontario has previously announced a pay raise of up to $3 per hour for 150,000 Personal Support Workers but this measure expires in March of 2021 and it is unclear what this means for new PSWs who will complete the training program in 2021.
COVID-19 in Long-Term Care Facilities
The hiring of 8,000 new Personal Support Workers is part of the Provincial Government’s response to the tragic effects of COVID-19 on residents of long-term care facilities. 21,566 residents and 6,611 staff members have been infected with the virus. The 3,743 deaths of long-term care residents account for more than half of all COVID-19 fatalities in the province of Ontario as of February 26th, 2021. The Government of Ontario has pledged to change the system and address its major problems.
Part of the Provincial Government’s commitment involves addressing the critical staffing shortages found in many long-term care facilities. The hiring of over 8,000 Personal Support Workers is meant to be the one of the first steps in fixing this system. Becoming a PSW in a long-term care facility during the pandemic is not without risk and it is something that people thinking about entering the training program need to carefully consider. The roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine with priority access to residents and staff at long-term care facilities will help, but it cannot undo the damage that has been done.
How It Works
The hiring and training of new PSWs is to be completed through the Accelerated Personal Support Worker (PSW) Training Program. This training program will be offered at all of Ontario’s 24 publicly-assisted colleges beginning in March of 2021.
The program will offer tuition-free training to 6,000 new PSWs, and additionally provide a $2,000 tuition grant to approximately 2,200 students currently enrolled in PSW training programs. The training program itself has also been accelerated, and will now be completed in six months instead of eight. The projected end result is the training and hiring of 8,200 Personal Support Workers by the end of 2021.
If you are looking for work and are interested in a long career where you can have a huge positive impact on people every single day, you may want to consider becoming a Personal Support Worker in Ontario. If this sounds like a good opportunity, you can apply here.