Province announces free tuition for PSW students

Header image for the article Province announces free tuition for PSW students Credit: ISTOCK (KIWIS)
Up to 6,000 students training to be PSWs in Ontario can get free tuition as part of the new Accelerated PSW Training Program.

The Ford government has announced a new program offering free tuition to students training to be personal support workers (PSW).

The province is investing over $115 million to train up to 8,200 new PSWs to meet high demand in Ontario’s health and long-term sectors. The program will be offered to all 24 publicly assisted colleges starting in April 2021, including Fanshawe College.

“Fanshawe is very pleased the Province has introduced this accelerated PSW program,” said Fanshawe’s corporate communications officer, Karrie Burke. “As the Premier outlined, this new program provides funding to cover tuition and funding for expenses like textbooks and other supplies and students will be provided with volunteer opportunities early in the program and participate in paid work placements after three months. Graduates will enter the workforce with full credentials after just six months.”

Premier Doug Ford made the announcement on Feb. 24, along with Minister of Long-Term Care Dr. Merrilee Fullerton and Minister of Colleges and Universities Ross Romano.

The tuition-free Accelerated PSW Training Program will be open for 6,000 students and is expected to take only six months to complete, rather than the typical eight months. Following three months of coursework and experiential learning, students will complete the final three months in paid onsite training in a long-term care home or in a home or community care environment.

The tuition-free Accelerated PSW Training Program will be open for 6,000 students and is expected to take only six months to complete, rather than the typical eight months. Following three months of coursework and experiential learning, students will complete the final three months in paid onsite training in a long-term care home or in a home or community care environment.

In addition to the upcoming program, around 2,200 current PSW students will be eligible to receive a tuition grant of $2,000 to help see them through their studies.

“We are taking monumental steps to protect our most vulnerable and provide the highest quality of care when and where residents need it,” said Ford. “We will achieve this by recruiting and training some of our best and brightest to be PSWs. This will improve the quality of life for our seniors and begin to correct the decades of neglect in this sector.”

The province launched A Better Place to Live, A Better Place to Work: Ontario’s Long-Term Care Staffing Plan in December last year as part of its long-term care strategy. It is investing $1.9 billion annually by 2024/2025 to increase the hours of direct care to an average of four hours per day over four years.

Fanshawe College is working with the province to develop the details of the program, including the intake and application process. Details will be announced in the upcoming weeks and posted on fanshawec.ca.

Registration for the program will be available through the Ontario College Application Service and is expected to open in early March.