Free training for care aides made possible by Community Workforce Response Grant 

Parksville, B.C. (June 24, 2020) – A new grant secured by BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) will open doors for 48 students interested in pursuing careers in seniors’ care.

BCCPA has secured $812,691 through the Community Workforce Response Grant to train three 16-person cohorts of health care assistants through Discovery Community College in Parksville, Cowichan Valley and Kamloops. The funding will allow BCCPA to cover the entire cost of tuition for participants, as well as provide financial supports for travel, childcare and other training allowances.

“BC Care Providers Association has continually emphasized the need for more training opportunities in seniors’ care to build a thriving workforce to care for our aging population,” says Acting CEO Mike Klassen. “The Community Workforce Response Grant allows us to create new pathways for students who have the passion and aptitude for seniors’ care but are deterred from pursuing careers in the field due to financial constraints and family obligations.”

Students enrolled in the training program will receive skills training by way of the provincially approved curriculum for health care assistants, as well as enhanced health and safety training delivered by SafeCare BC.

BCCPA has gained strong support for this initiative from nine employers in the regions. Park Place Seniors Living, H&H Total Care Services, Trillium Communities, Chartwell Retirement Residences, Origin Active Lifestyle Communities, Arrowsmith Health Care Society, Avenir Senior Living, Trellis Seniors Services, and Sienna Senior Living are seeking to fill part-time and full-time positions in their organizations by participating in the program.

“Securing the funding will remove barriers to education, which benefits our residents, team members and the communities we serve,” says Hendrik Van Ryk, COO/VP of Human Resources at The Hamlets. “Our seniors deserve quality care and services. The addition of well-trained team members will ensure quality care and services are available now and in the future.”

Following the completion of the skills training program, BCCPA will host hiring fairs for participating employers and program graduates.

“Thanks to the Community Workforce Response Grant and strong support from employers, we are a step closer to filling the 306 vacant care aide positions on Vancouver Island and in the Interior,” Klassen says.

BCCPA has long been sounding the alarm on the health human resources crisis in British Columbia. Since 2018, BCCPA has undertaken multiple measures to analyze and resolve the crisis, including hosting a sector-wide collaborative with care providers, government, labour unions and training colleges; issuing two reports outlining the scale of the crisis and providing 10 recommendations on how to resolve it; establishing a $25,000 HCA bursary program in partnership with Okanagan College; and partnering with Health Match BC to design their new Choose2Care recruitment campaign.

Training will begin July 22nd in Parksville and August 10th in Cowichan Valley and Kamloops. Details on the training program are available on BCCPA’s website.


Media Contact 

Rumana D’Souza-Garcin
Acting Manager of Communications
(778) 681-4859 

About BC Care Providers Association

Established in 1977, BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) is the leading voice for B.C.’s continuing care sector. Our growing membership base includes over 380 long-term care, assisted living, home care, home support, and commercial members from across British Columbia. Through its operating arm EngAge BC, the organization represents independent living, as well as private pay assisted living, long-term care and home health services.