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B.C.’s new Health Career Access Program underway in Prince George at CNC

CNC has 16 seats for the province’s new Heath Career Access Program
College of New Caledonia (CNC) in Prince George. (via Hanna Petersen).

The College of New Caledonia (CNC) has 16 seats for the province’s new Health Career Access Program which aims to enable people to train for high-demand jobs as health-care assistants caring for B.C.’s seniors.

"We're moving forward with our plan to expand the number of health-care assistants working in B.C. to strengthen the level of care for people in long-term care homes and assisted-living residences," said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health in a news release.

"The Health Career Access Program is underway and is already helping train workers for some of the most important jobs in B.C."

The $8.4-million investment will begin with is creating the first 600 new training seats at public post-secondary institutions for health-care assistants. This was announced in September 2020 to meet the demand for health-care assistants in B.C.'s long-term care and assisted-living residences.

Participants in the Health Career Access Program will be hired in long-term care and assisted-living facilities as health-care support workers.

They will be paid while they work and complete coursework to become health-care assistants. In addition, students who are currently completing a recognized health-care assistant program and who choose to take employment in the long-term care or assisted-living sector, and commit to a 12-month return-of-service, will be eligible for a recruitment incentive of $5,000.

"Government is investing in relevant programs to enable people impacted by COVID-19 to upskill or reskill so they can return to work or advance their careers," said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training in a news release.

"This funding for health-care assistant programs supports training for highly valued and respected workers who provide important daily care for our seniors in long-term care and assisted-living facilities."

Programs are underway at public post-secondary institutions throughout the province, and more are expected to start early this year.

The following health-care assistant programs are approved or already underway:

  • College of New Caledonia - Vanderhoof and Prince George, 16 seats
  • Douglas College - Coquitlam, 128 seats
  • Kwantlen Polytechnic University - Langley, 64 seats
  • Langara College - Metro Vancouver, 48 seats
  • Nicola Valley Institute of Technology - Merritt, 18 seats
  • North Island College, Campbell River - Comox, 16 seats
  • Selkirk College - Castlegar, Trail, Nelson, Grand Forks, Slocan Valley, 61 seats
  • Thompson Rivers University - Kamloops, Williams Lake, 102 seats
  • Vancouver Community College - Metro Vancouver, 24 seats
  • Vancouver Island University - Powell River, Nanaimo, Cowichan, 72 seats

Programs are under development at these institutions:

  • Camosun College
  • Capilano University
  • Coast Mountain College
  • College of the Rockies
  • Northern Lights College
  • Okanagan College
  • University of the Fraser Valley