Hamilton's Mohawk College expects to train 360 new PSWs in 2021

 

The new accelerated training program for personal support workers announced Wednesday (Feb. 24) by the provincial government is expected to help train 360 new PSW students at Hamilton’s Mohawk College this year.

That’s according to the school’s CEO, Ron McKerlie.

"There is a huge demand for personal support workers in our community and today's announcement goes a long way to addressing that workforce gap," said McKerlie. "We are ready to provide people looking for training in this field with the education and skills they need to secure meaningful jobs in the near future."

The accelerated program will cover students' tuition and other expenses, as well as offering the possibility of paid work placements.

The program, which will begin enrollment in early March, starts April 5 at Mohawk Colege and allows participants to graduate with full credentials within six months--instead of the typical eight months.

The added enrolment is expected to result in over 8,000 PSW graduates across Ontario by this fall, according to the government.

Mohawk College says the accelerated program allows students to fulfill the program requirements more quickly by increasing the number of study hours per week.

Mohawk is offering an approved PSW-Intensive program, which is 21 weeks in length and introduces learners to clinical placements after 11 weeks.

"Working closely with our valued partners in community care, we are confident that our graduates will soon be available to provide essential care to many of our most vulnerable citizens," said Alison Horton, Mohawk College VP, Academic. "We are pleased to collaborate with the province to create this new opportunity for students and for our community service providers."

Students in the accelerated programs across the province will be available to volunteer at long-term care homes and other settings early in the program and will also be available for paid work placements.

While the new program is being welcomed by Ontario colleges, the NDP criticized Premier Doug Ford for refusing to hire long-term care staff before the second wave hit.

"In the summer of 2020, before the second wave of COVID-19 hit, British Columbia hired and trained 7,000 staff for long-term care. Quebec hired and trained 10,000 staff for long-term care. The Doug Ford government hired and trained virtually none," said NDP Deputy Leader and Long-Term Care critic Sara Singh in a statement.

"We are one year into this pandemic. As of today, 3,860 people have lost their lives to COVID-19 in long-term care homes, and most died alone and in pain. Ford's plan to wait until 2025 to complete a staff-up is devastatingly slow for nursing home residents and their loved ones."

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