New Supportive Care Assistant Program to Support Labour Shortages
April 20, 2021

Portage College is pleased to announce that it has been selected by Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) to offer the tuition free Supportive Care Assistant Program, funded by the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Initiatives Program. In addition to being selected to offer the program, the College was also involved in creating the curriculum for this program. Applications will be accepted starting May 3, 2021, with the program slated to start on May 10, 2021.

CICan announced the free work integrated training program on April 16, 2021 to attract and rapidly train long-term care workers across Canada. The program includes six weeks of online training followed by a four-month paid work placement in a long-term or home care setting.

“This program is very valuable as it increases access to health programming and work integrated learning experiences in our rural long-term care facilities and home care settings,” said Robin Tizzard, Dean of Environmental Sciences, Hairstyling, Human Services, Practical Nurse, and University Transfer at Portage College.

While the program will provide immediate support in long-term care facilities, it will also give students a chance to upgrade their skills. Students can learn while in their placements and work toward becoming fully certified personal care providers. Portage College encourages facilities to contact Continuing Education if they want to be considered to participate in this work-integrated learning opportunity.

Portage College was one of several post-secondary institutions that shared expertise and resources to help create the curriculum and content for the program.

“I feel very fortunate that the College was selected to be part of the CICan working group and selected as one of the delivery institutions,” said Tizzard. “For the last three months this group has provided excellent guidance regarding curriculum development for the new SCA program.”

The program’s goal is to train 2,600 assistants in the next year. While students will receive free tuition, employers of program participants will also receive a wage subsidy of $5,000 per student.

Portage College is looking for people of all ages who enjoy working with seniors. Interested students can visit or contact Continuing Education directly at or 1-888-745-0719 for more information and to apply. Students must have valid/clean Vulnerable Sector Checks completed at the time of application.

Media Inquiries:
Jaime Davies, Corporate Communications Manager 
780-623-5581 or email

We acknowledge that Portage College’s service region is on the traditional lands of First Nation Peoples, the owners of Treaty 6, 8 and 10, which are also homelands to the Métis people. We honour the history and culture of all people who first lived and gathered in these lands.
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