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Ontario Preparing People for Good Jobs in Health Care

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Ontario Preparing People for Good Jobs in Health Care

Government Investing in New Training Partnership for 35 Personal Support Workers in Eastern Ontario

HAWKESBURY — Ontario is helping prepare people in Eastern Ontario for in-demand jobs in the health care sector. To help overcome a local and provincewide shortage of personal support workers (PSW), the Prescott-Russell Employment Services Centre based in Hawkesbury, Ont., is receiving funding to lead an innovative skills training project in close co-operation with local employers.

The project, called SkillsAdvance Ontario: Become a Personal Support Worker, will help 30 local jobseekers and five currently employed personal support workers gain or upgrade the skills needed by long-term health care employers in Eastern Ontario by offering a fully funded 36-week job preparation course. The government is providing more than $600,000 in training, including essential and technical skills training, as well as job-matching, job-placement and retention services. 

"Our Government knows that employers are looking for job-ready people to help fill vacancies in Eastern Ontario," Merrilee Fullerton, MPP for Kanata-Carleton and Minister of Long-Term Care, said today on behalf of Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. "By funding projects like this, we're giving people the chance to put their skills to work in good, permanent jobs."

Training begins in March and will include supervisor-specific tools for combating compassion fatigue.

"SkillsAdvance Ontario projects are designed to help both businesses and jobseekers in a region," said Minister McNaughton. "When you tailor a training curriculum around the needs of local employers and offer effective employment supports for the participating trainees, you can achieve outcomes that make a difference."

Quick Facts

  • Ontario is supporting the SkillsAdvance Ontario project for personal support worker training at the Prescott-Russell Employment Services Centre with $617,815 over 12 months, giving 35 people the chance to put their skills to work in good, permanent jobs.
  • There are currently 28 active SkillsAdvance Ontario projects across Ontario, dedicated to sector-specific training for jobs in steel and aluminum, manufacturing, logistics, tourism and hospitality, forestry, and other sectors.
  • PSWs are vital for Ontario’s economy, especially as the population ages. Among Statistics Canada occupational groupings that include personal support workers, there was a 24 per cent increase in vacancies across Ontario in the third quarter of 2019 compared to the third quarter of 2018, rising by 1,225 to 6,320.
  • The Employment Ontario network offers a range of services and supports that help businesses find talent and connect jobseekers to training and job opportunities.

Additional Resources


“Last year, stakeholders from the health sector brought to our attention the urgency to develop a PSW workforce and to support our local employers from this sector especially. We are thankful that our Ontario government is responsive to our unique needs by granting the necessary dollars toward training new PSWs.”

Caroline Arcand

executive director, Prescott-Russell Employment Services Centre

“Our personal support workers play a crucial role in delivering services to our seniors. This program will provide a great opportunity to train new PSWs. It will help us to address the labour shortage while maintaining high quality services.”

Benoit Marleau

administrator, Foyer St-Viateur Nursing Home

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