TORONTO: The Ontario government has established the Staffing Supply Accelerator Group to help implement one of the largest health care recruitment and training programs in Ontario history.
The group will support the objectives of A Better Place to Live, A Better Place to Work: Ontario’s Long-Term Care Staffing Plan.
Members of the group are:
• Richard Steele, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Long-Term Care
• Helen Angus, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Health
• Bernadette Beaupre, Executive Director, The Ontario Association of Adult and Continuing Education School Board of Administrators
• Anne Coghlan, Executive Director and CEO, College of Nurses
• Chris Conway, Career Colleges Ontario
• Donna Duncan, CEO, Ontario Long-Term Care Association
• Linda Franklin, President and CEO, Colleges Ontario
• Miranda Ferrier, CEO and Provincial President, Ontario Personal Support Workers Association
• Doris Grinspun, CEO, Registered Nurses Association Ontario
• Lisa Levin, CEO, AdvantAge Ontario
• Dianne Martin, CEO, Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario (WeRPN)
• Greg Meredith, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development
• Nancy Naylor, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Education
• Steve Orsini, President and CEO, Council of Ontario Universities
• JP Roszell, National Association of Career Colleges
• Shelley Tapp, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Colleges and Universities
“There is an urgent need to accelerate and expand the training and education of personal support workers, registered practical nurses, and registered nurses to meet the targets we set in the long-term care staffing plan,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care.
“I am pleased to support this group as we work to solve the long-standing and systemic challenges in our sector.”
The group will help to increase long-term care staffing supply by expanding and accelerating education and training for personal support workers, registered practical nurses and registered nurses.
Task teams will be established to focus on four priorities beginning in 2021-22:
• building an “Earn-as-you learn” personal support worker learning pathway that will include on-the-job education onsite training and micro-credentialing;
• bridging opportunities for personal support workers to become accredited registered practical nurses and registered practical nurses to become registered nurses, to provide career progression pathways and accelerate the supply of registered practical nurses and registered nurses;
• increasing enrolment and accelerate completion of existing training programs in support of the long-term care workforce; and
• removing barriers to enable more internationally-trained professionals to become qualified to practice in Ontario. The Staffing Supply Accelerator Group will begin meeting this month and will operate for at least one year. The group will be assessed after the first six months and every six months following.
• A Better Place to Live; A Better Place to Work: Ontario’s Long-Term Care Staffing Plan announced in December 2020, aims to resolve long-standing staffing challenges in long-term care homes created by decades of neglect and underfunding. The plan will focus on hiring more staff, including personal support workers, registered practical nurses, and registered nurses. The plan also seeks to improve working conditions for existing staff, drive effective and accountable leadership, and implement retention strategies to make long-term care a better place for residents to live and a better place for staff to work.
• Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover sets out a total of $45 billion in support over three years to make available the necessary health resources to continue protecting people, deliver critical programs and tax measures to support individuals, families and job creators impacted by the virus and lay the groundwork for a robust long-term economic recovery for the province.
• In total, the government has made $15.2 billion available to support Ontario’s frontline health care heroes and protect people from COVID-19. This includes supporting 141 hospitals and health care facilities, and 626 long-term care homes since the beginning of the pandemic.