'We can ease the financial responsibility often associated with post-secondary programs and support growth in the workforce'
Nova Scotia is investing $460,000 to offer at least 115 scholarships to students enrolled in continuing care assistant (CCA) programs through the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) and even private career colleges.
“Continuing care assistants provide tremendous contributions not only to the residents to whom they provide care, but also to the sustainability of our health-care system,” said Kelly Regan, acting minister of health and wellness. “By continuing to support students who are interested in a career in this field, we can ease the financial responsibility often associated with post-secondary programs and support growth in the workforce.”
Funding for the initiative comes from the Canada-Nova Scotia Home and Community Care and Mental Health and Addictions Services Funding Agreement.
NSCC will award at least 75 bursaries, depending on the number of part-time recipients, at campuses across the province. Another 40 will be awarded through private career colleges. This is the first year the bursary program is open to students enrolled in private career colleges, according to the government.
The bursary will provide successful applicants $4,000 for full-time students or $2,000 for part-time students.
To be eligible, students must be enrolled in the CCA Education Program starting in the 2020-21 school year and must meet the application deadline of Oct. 31.
Bursaries will be prioritized based on communities with the greatest continuing care staffing needs.
“We’ve seen these last few months just how vital our continuing care sector is to our communities. I’m so pleased the province has come forward for a second year with this positive investment in CCA students. We hope it will help encourage those wishing to study, and then work in this caring profession, to take that step,” said Don Bureaux, NSCC president.
First launched in July of last year, the bursary program was recommended by the Expert Advisory Panel on Long-Term Care to support workforce staffing and recruitment.
In April, Nova Scotia required front-line workers in every public and private long-term care home, residential care facility and home-care agency across the province to wear masks to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
The province earlier announced it will contribute $13.4 million on top of the federal government’s $80.5 million contribution to the Essential Health Care Workers Program, giving workers a bonus of up to $2,000 for a month, retroactive to March 13.