Okanagan College is adding an extra intake for its health care assistant program in Vernon to meet the industry demand.
Work BC has identified it as a priority occupation for the Ministry of Health with growth rates of 13 percent for the next several years.
“This demand is anticipated to increase even more after the Government of B.C. announced funding to increase staffing levels in residential care homes for seniors, which aims to fund more than 900 health care assistants by 2021,” says a news release from the college.
“Now is a great time to become a health care assistant. The need for health care assistants within the Interior Health region is growing. There are many opportunities for individuals who have this training and one can choose to work in a team environment in long-term care or one-on-one with clients in home support. It is a great career choice for those who enjoy working closely with others, and those who like making a positive impact on the lives of others,” says Shalan Hundal, Health Care Assistant Recruitment and Marketing Project Lead, Interior Health.
An information night to find out more about the six-month program, which will start in February, will be held Dec. 13 at 6 pm at the Vernon campus, Room D343.
“We’re hearing from our industry partners that employers in the Okanagan are desperate for health care assistants. Students will be making a living wage right out of school, in a profession that offers a variety of shifts, making it easy to find work that best fits their lives,” says Lisa Kraft, Associate Dean of Science Technology and Health for Okanagan College. “Most importantly, health care assistants find their work extremely rewarding. Graduates often tell us how much they appreciate the opportunity to have a significant impact on the quality of life for people in care.”
The College received $66,000 in one-time funding from the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training to support delivery of the program in Vernon, which will also enhance access for residents of nearby Armstrong, Enderby, Salmon Arm and Sicamous.
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