Georgian College to offer free micro-credential to address labour shortage in the long-term care sector

Supportive Care Assistant program involves six weeks of online training followed by a four-month paid work placement

from Georgian College

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the devastating impact chronic staffing shortages had in the long-term care sector. In response, with federal government support, Georgian is offering a new, free micro-credential to address the labour shortage and encourage students to explore a meaningful career in long-term care.

Micro-credentials represent the completion of competencies driven by industry/market need that are completed in a short time frame. These programs can help learners quickly gain new skills, upskill or retrain for a new career.

The Supportive Care Assistant program involves six weeks of online training followed by a four-month paid work placement. This micro-credential gives students the opportunity to build new skills, get practical experience while earning a wage, and provide much-needed support to those living and working in long-term care.

The program is a national initiative and is funded by Employment and Social Development Canada and is part of Colleges and Institute Canada’s (CICan) Building Capacity in Long-term Care project.

“Georgian is proud to help co-design and develop this critical micro-certification program in partnership with our colleagues at Colleges and Institutes Canada and other college partners,” said Kevin Weaver, Vice President, Academic, Georgian College. “This new program is an immediate, urgent stop gap, with longevity to support the health-care team and will help address the critical labour shortage in the health-care sector. We look forward to filling those employment gaps by providing training to eligible participants who want a rewarding career in the health-care field.”

The Supportive Care Assistant program is geared toward individuals interested in entering the sector, including redeployed workers who are supporting long-term care and residential homes. Job prospects are high following completion of this micro-credential and the certification can also help accelerate the next step for those who choose to further their studies and become personal support workers.

The program is fully subsidized (free tuition) and flexible. The online training component must be completed within six weeks, but can be taken on your own schedule to accommodate work and home life.

After completing the necessary coursework, students will be placed in a long-term or home-care setting and perform 560 hours of non-clinical activities to support the healthcare team and clients. Pending employer availability, students can complete their placement hours at a facility in their local community.

Employers in long-term care can receive a $5,000 wage subsidy to help train new workers, provide support to staff, and improve quality of care. Information for employers who would like to partner with Georgian can be found at GeorgianCollege.ca/supportivecare.

Registration is also open at the web address above. Georgian will be accepting applications for the Supportive Care Assistant program on an ongoing basis, with the first group beginning on July 1. A limited number of spots are available so register early to ensure your place.

Feature image courtesy Georgian College

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