The high need for essential workers in the healthcare sector and many nursing homes/assisted living facilities is widely recognized, with many employers struggling to fill vacant positions. The demand for health care services is expected to soon exceed human resource supply. Greater attention and proactive solutions to skills gaps and chronically vacant positions are prudent. Despite efforts to address the challenge, the needs around recruitment and retention appear to have grown. Increased reports of staffing shortages, including resident attendants and other entry-level positions across the Atlantic provinces are rampant. Adequately caring for our aging population is not possible without an appropriately trained workforce.
Research indicates that there’s an urgent need for workers in the following positions:
The EES-HS project employed a holistic approach, training both project participants as well as people managers at participating workplaces. The training consisted of:
We created Community Advisory Groups (CAGs) to bring together agencies and organizations that work with unemployed and underemployed individuals, identify appropriate pilot participants, and community resources to support participants in overcoming barriers to employment.
The curriculum materials integrated essential and employability skills into the training program designed specifically for available entry-level jobs in the health sector. The curriculum also included a mentor training package for pilot site supervisors/managers.
Participating employers identified and allowed supervisors and middle managers to participate in a customized essentials skills mentorship training. The intent of the program was to support the application of essential and employability skills in the workplace and the Essential Employability Skills for the Health Sector (EES-HS) participants during the workplace experience components of the project.
Three months following their participation in the Essential Employability Skills for the Health Sector (EES-HS) project:
Of the 73 participants, 6 are current or prospective post-secondary students pursuing higher education in the health sector: