Five people pose for a photo in front of a backdrop that reads We Are Humber. Four of the people are wearing medical uniforms.

Humber College and the Government of Ontario are expanding a program that aims to train hundreds of new personal support workers (PSWs) across the province over the next few years.

The Learn and Earn Accelerated Program for Personal Support Workers in Long-Term Care (LTC) upskills employees at long-term care homes, including resident attendants and dietary aides, to become PSWs. The government is investing $16.5 million to extend the program for another three years with a goal of training about 600 new PSWs over that span.   

The program has learners completing online coursework that’s followed by a paid, on-site clinical placement at the long-term care home where they already work. By offering the training online, the hope is to eliminate barriers that may impede those interested from enrolling in the program due to geography or proximity to a post-secondary institution.  

"This initiative to expand the Learn and Earn Accelerated Program for Personal Support Workers in Long-Term Care program supports Humber College's commitment to providing high-quality healthcare education while empowering learners to excel in their careers," said Ann Marie Vaughan, president and CEO, Humber College. "We look forward to working with more long-term care homes across the province through the expansion of this program. By helping people become certified PSWs while working, and enabling employers to fill existing PSW vacancies, we can strengthen the healthcare workforce and make a positive impact on the lives of Ontarians."  

A person uses a stethoscope on a training dummy as people wearing medical uniforms watch.

It was launched last year as a pilot program in partnership with Humber and Revera following a $1.6 million investment by the Government of Ontario. The funding covered the delivery of the project, tuition, and income protection support for learners. In total, 65 employees from across Revera’s network of LTC homes participated in the two pilot cohorts.

Learners will have 12 weeks of full-time coursework. During the learner’s coursework, the LTC home will backfill their job. There’s also 10 weeks of paid, on-site experiential learning through the clinical placement.

“The Learn and Earn Accelerated Program for Personal Support Workers in Long-Term Care will help long-term care workers grow their careers, support the staffing needs of rural, remote and northern long-term care homes and, most importantly, increase care for residents,” said Minister of Long-Term Care Paul Calandra. “This is part of our plan to hire and retain thousands of PSWs and nurses as we work to implement a nation-leading standard of four hours of care, per resident, per day.”

Northern and rural communities are being prioritized in the program’s expansion.

The next two cohorts start in July and October. Space is still available for both.

Two people shake hands while a third person watches and smiles.

"Our government is committed to increasing choices and reducing barriers to high‐quality, postsecondary education for students,” said Minister of Colleges and Universities Jill Dunlop. “Providing long-term care workers with a combination of virtual and in-person education and training options so they can upgrade their skills and become personal support workers will help meet the health care needs of more residents in local communities across Ontario."

More information can be found on the Learn and Earn Accelerated Program for Personal Support Workers in Long-Term Care webpage.