What is BC Cares?
BC Cares is a program that was designed by the BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) in 2007 to recruit care aides into the growing seniors care sector. Initially developed as a pilot with the Fraser Health Authority, BC Cares became a province-wide initiative in 2009-2009.
Canada-BC Labour Market Agreement Supports Extension of BC Training Partnership to Help Meet Future Employment Demands of Aging Society
The BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) and BC Ministry of Advanced Education have agreed to extend a successful 2008-2009 campaign to recruit more British Columbians into the seniors' care sector. The BCCPA will receive over $300,000 from the Canada-BC Labour Market Agreement (LMA) to develop public awareness activities and lead an analysis on the long-term labour needs for care aides, home support workers and licensed practical nurses.
The 2008-2009 BC Cares initiative included the Ministries of Health and Advanced Education, 20 public and accredited private BC colleges, Student Aid BC and local health authorities. In addition to promoting awareness of employment opportunities in seniors' care, student assistance was offered to qualifying participants through a special loan rebate.
"In addition to securing a sustainable supply of quality care aides and LPNs, this investment will ensure the labour needs of independent contracted care providers can be considered by the province in future human resource and skills training decisions. This is a first," said BCCPA CEO Ed Helfrich. "The decision to extend BC Cares delivers on one of the ten recommendations BCCPA made to the provincial government last month regarding the sustainability of BC's seniors' care system."
The new 2010-2011 BC Cares initiative will include:
- awareness campaign to increase student enrollment in partnership with education partners
- emphasis on "laddering" incentives for care aides and home support workers to pursue training as LPNs
- establishment of seniors care human resources committee of government representatives, employers, educators and individual care providers
- enhanced focus on opportunities for Aboriginal communities, youth, new Canadians and families impacted by the economic downturn
- inventory of financial incentives for eligible students
- comprehensive evaluation of employment and training needs of the non-profit & private residential seniors' care sector in BC beyond 2010
In addition to supporting the recommendations of BCCPA's sustainability report, the new BC Cares initiative will compliment measures to introduce new training curriculum, province-wide care aide registry & commitments to increased staffing levels
"We want to invite British Columbians to consider starting their health career as a residential care aide or home support worker," said BCCPA President Christine Nidd. "In addition to highlighting the health sector as a relatively secure industry in uncertain times, BC Cares will provide an opportunity to celebrate this profession as more than a job. It is meaningful and rewarding work with seniors and families."
Health care has been identified by senior levels of government as one of the top job-creation sectors of the BC economy. Recent figures released by the provincial government suggest there will be a cumulative staffing shortage over 5,200 care aides and LPNs in BC by 2018. These figures do not include home support services or non-profit and private residential care providers in BC.
The number of Canadians aged 70-89 is expected to double by 2035 to 6.4 million and by 2055 - given life expectancy trends - one million seniors will live to 90 years of age. Within a decade, the number of seniors over 65 will out-number children under the age of 15 for the first time.
A special web-site has been established for the project at www.bccares.ca. It will be updated regularly in the coming months and will include current labour market information, directory of accredited training programs across BC, an inventory of student assistance options and a recap of the 2008-2009 BC cares initiative.
BCCPA has represented health care leaders in BC for over 30 years. BCCPA members employ more than 7,000 people. They care for over 10,000 seniors each day in residential care and an additional 4,000 each year through home support.
NEW: Seniors Care HR Strategy Released
Report Offers Insight into Human Resources Issues in Seniors Care Sector – (click here for news release)