George Brown teams up with the Rekai Centres to address PSW shortages in long-term care

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Personal support worker with a senior citizen both wearing masks

Personal support workers (PSWs) are needed now more than ever so George Brown College and long-term care provider the Rekai Centres are working together to help students gain the hands-on experience they need to graduate and enter the workforce. 

After COVID-19 affected work placements for George Brown’s PSW students, George Brown and the Rekai Centres created a new intensive model for students to gain these real-world learning experiences under the supervision of clinical instructors. 

“The global pandemic severely disrupted PSW education for students and post-secondary educators,” said Anne Sado, President of George Brown College. “Not only is this new clinical model providing students with the on-the-job experience they need to succeed, it’s also ensuring that Ontario has a stable, well-trained PSW workforce now and in the future.” 

Productive partnership 

The Rekai Centres experienced critical staffing shortages during the first wave of COVID-19 and CEO Sue Graham-Nutter said it highlighted the need for an “innovative solution to address this key issue before the second COVID-19 wave arrived in Toronto.” 

George Brown’s Sally Horsfall Eaton School of Nursing teamed up with the Rekai Centres to create a placement model like a medical residency — small groups of students take part in immersive clinical training eight hours a day, four days a week. 

Employment opportunities for grads 

There will be jobs waiting for PSW students upon graduation. The Rekai Centres expects to hire a significant number of our grads and it acts as the lead employment agency for other long term care homes in downtown Toronto. The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Long-Term Care will also provide a $5,000 incentive to PSWs who graduate on or after April 1, 2020 and who commit to a six-month employment contract in a long-term care home, or with an in-home care and community care agency. 

Learn about our Personal Support Worker program