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Free training for care aides made possible by Community Workforce Response Grant


First College received funding provided by the Government of Canada through the Canada-British Columbia Workforce Development Agreement for the Health Care Assistant (HCA) Program with 24 available seats.


This year has been full of upheaval, especially for those who have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, out of upheaval can come new opportunities, and many are considering this to be a good time to pursue studies for a new career.


Beginning a new career path is always daunting, but one group in particular has found increased success, even in light of the pandemic. Health Care Assistants have been more sought after than ever before. That is why Kelowna’s First College wants the public to know that it offers an 8-month Health Care Assistant (HCA) Diploma Program, enabling students to develop the essential knowledge and skills to function effectively as frontline caregivers of the healthcare team.

First College Faculty of Health members

To assist in rebuilding the lives of individuals who have been affected by COVID-19, the WorkBC Community Work Force Grant has been approved for the September 2021 HCA Cohort, allowing students to study and explore a new career path without having to worry about their financial resources.


The upcoming September 2021 Cohort is fully supported with funding provided by the Government of Canada through the Canada-British Columbia Workforce Development Agreement with a total of 24 available seats. The program will take place from September 10, 2021 to May 6, 2022.


Graduates will be fully competent and confident in performing skills in a variety of settings, including health care facilities, private community agencies and individual homes. According to the B.C.’s Labour Market Outlook (2019), 18,650 jobs will be created for HCAs from now until 2027. 95% of care homes and home support agencies in the province report experiencing staffing shortages.


In the Thompson-Okanagan area, the expected number of job openings from 2019 to 2029 is 2,260. Also, the Government of BC has announced that COVID-19 has increased the need for HCAs in long-term care and assisted living settings across the province. The annual provincial median salary is $45,883 (source: 2020 Job Bank Wage data).

First College HCA students during their practice education

If you would like to know more detailed information about the HCA program, as well as the eligibility requirements for this funding, please see the First College website at or contact Academic Advisor, Alexandria Krause at (778) 478-6611 or


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