With the shortage of personal support workers (PSWs) approaching a crisis, Extendicare and Collège Boréal have teamed up with the aim of creating an incentive for more people to enrol in that program.

Through this agreement, the Extendicare network in Timmins has committed to offering a job and a $1,000 bursary to four graduates upon completion of the PSW program.

“There is a shortage of PSWs throughout the province of Ontario right now and this has been a long-standing issue throughout long-term care hospitals … so we’re looking at ways to try to increase enrolment and try to help colleges to increase their enrolment in PSW programs,” said Kelly Roy, administrator of Timmins Extendicare.

Roy said there has been a steady decline in enrolment for PSW programs in the last 10 years. Combine that staff shortage with a steadily aging population and long-term care facilities foresee a crisis on the horizon.

“The shortage is not going to be fixed in one year. This is going to take several years and … the babyboomers are just starting to come into long-term care … There’s going to be shortages for a minimum of the next 20 years.”