‘We need to be innovative in our approach and provide training opportunities that offer clear career paths’
The federal government is investing $23.2 million to support the training of 4,000 new personal support worker interns.
The funding will go through the Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan), which will develop and implement an accelerated online program for the interns.
"The government recognizes the incredible work of our personal support workers across the country. They are taking care of our loved ones in a time of great uncertainty. This project offers a way to get more workers trained quickly in order to meet Canada's increasing long-term care and home-care needs,” says Carla Qualtrough, minister of employment, workforce development and disability inclusion. “As we look to make historic investments in training, we need to be innovative in our approach and provide training opportunities that offer clear career paths."
The program includes six weeks of free online training followed by a four-month, paid work-integrated learning placement with an employer in long-term care or home care.
Registration for the program will open in the spring of 2021, with work placements beginning in the summer. Successful trainees will receive a micro-certificate upon completion of their placements.
Ottawa previously vowed to make the largest investment in Canadian history in training for workers.
CICan will also collaborate with provinces, territories, employers, workers' organizations, unions and training providers to begin a national dialogue on training standards for the supportive care sector.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light the critical role that personal care providers play on the front lines of our health-care system. Unfortunately, it has also revealed some gaps and critical labour shortages, showing an urgent need for accelerated and flexible training options,” says Denise Amyot, president and CEO of CICan.
“With the support of Employment and Social Development Canada, colleges and institutes across Canada are joining forces to design and offer a rapid-response training program and subsidized work placement that will address the short-term labour shortage and provide students with clear pathways to full certification in their provinces and territories."
The federal government also previously partnered with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) employers across the country to provide more than 900 internship opportunities for Canadian students.