Training personal support workers to cost $38.5 million over two years: PBO


OTTAWA — Parliament’s budget watchdog estimates that training 4,000 new personal support workers across the country will cost $38.5 million over two years.

A costing note from the parliamentary budget office says the federal government proposes to fund a six-week accelerated online program and four-month internship.

The price tag for the training regime was based partly on internship wage rates provided by Employment and Social Development Canada.

Parts of the country have faced dire staffing shortages in long-term care homes, where COVID-19 outbreaks have strained resources and caused thousands of deaths.

Measures prohibiting care workers from working at multiple homes in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus have further underscored the staffing crunch.

The Canadian Red Cross sent workers to five care homes in British Columbia last week, following similar efforts in Alberta, Ontario and Quebec and the military’s deployment to nursing homes in Quebec and Ontario last spring.