The province is starting a new PSW program to provide thousands with free tuition and help recruit and train more health care workers.
Premier Ford announced on Wednesday that the province is starting a new program to train 6,000 new personal support workers.
The PSW training program — named the Accelerated PSW Training Program — will last for six months, rather than the typical eight months, for the new recruits.
The free tuition will be offered by all of Ontario's 24 publicly assisted colleges. Applications are expected to open in early March through the Ontario College Application Service, and the program will begin in April 2021.
For the nearly 2,200 students that are already in a PSW training program, the province is offering a $2,000 tuition grant and a stipend to help them fund their clinical placement.
Speaking at a press conference where the changes were announced, Doug Ford said Ontario's PSWs have "had our backs" during the pandemic, and he said he would be lobbying to keep the $3 an hour wage boost that was implemented at the start of the pandemic.
"We're going to do whatever it takes — these people, number one, for years, were underpaid, overworked, understaffed. We're going to change the system," Ford said.