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Ontario announces tuition-free personal support worker training program

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The government of the Canadian province of Ontario has unveiled a new tuition-free program for those looking to break into the province’s health and long-term care sectors, reports CTV News.

More than $115 million has been earmarked by the province to see the enrollment of 6,000 new students into their Accelerated Personal Support Worker (PSW) Training Program being offered at all 24 publicly-assisted colleges in Ontario.

Premier Doug Ford made the announcement alongside Minister of Long-Term Care Dr. Merrilee Fullerton and Minister of Colleges and Universities Ross Romano on Wednesday.

The funding stems from the province’s previously announced long-term care overhaul strategy, dubbed “A better place to live, a better place to work: Ontario’s long-term care staffing plan,” which will see $1.9 billion pumped into the sector over the course of 10 years beginning between 2024 and 2025.

Long-term care homes have been hit especially hard by the COVID-19 pandemic since it began last January. Since then, 14,937 residents have contracted the virus and 3,860 have died—representing more than half of all COVID-19-related fatalities in Ontario.

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