Participants in the health care assistant program will work in long-term care or assisted living residences as health care support workers, while completing courses to become health care assistants. Photo: Submitted

Participants in the health care assistant program will work in long-term care or assisted living residences as health care support workers, while completing courses to become health care assistants. Photo: Submitted

Province increases seats for health care assistant, early childhood education at Selkirk College

College will add 73 seats in total

The provincial government is creating 61 new seats in the health care assistant program and 12 seats in the early childhood education program at Selkirk College.

Health care assistant students will work in long-term care or assisted living residences as health care support workers, while completing courses to become health care assistants.

“Selkirk College is thrilled to be the first early adopter in the province to launch the Health Career Access Program with our partners in Interior Health,” says Taya Whitehead, dean of the School of Health and Human Services.

“These students will be a huge asset to our West Kootenay and Boundary communities,” she said. “It is a real win-win for students, residents, employers and the college. Selkirk College will be working with Interior Health to launch a second intake in the spring and expanding to other communities in the region.”

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Health care assistants provide personal care for seniors, people with disabilities, and people with acute or chronic illnesses in hospitals, long-term care homes, assisted living facilities, group homes, and in the community.

More training opportunities for health care assistants at Selkirk College will strengthen the level of care for people in long-term care and assisted living residences, said Brittny Anderson, MLA for Nelson-Creston.

“Becoming a healthcare assistant is a great opportunity for community members to learn new skills and find meaningful and fulfilling work caring for one another,” she said. “These new seats are part of B.C.’s economic recovery plan that moves us all toward a healthier and more prosperous future.”

The majority of the early childhood education seats will be in work-integrated learning programs, which offer childcare workers the opportunity to become certified while employed in the sector. There will also be seats in a traditional in-person or online programs, followed by a field practicum in a childcare environment.

“Early childhood educators enable more parents, particularly women, to rejoin or remain in the workforce, and help shape learning experiences of children at a critical time in their development,” said Katrine Conroy, MLA for Kootenay West. “Training additional early childhood educators right here in Castlegar will help everyone in our communities succeed for generations.”

The early childhood education seats at Selkirk College are part of 108 seats announced province wide, and the health care assistant seats are part of a total of 600.