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Island Health program opens doors to health-care careers

Program provides on-the-job training for those in school with no experience
The Health Career Access Program allows Island Health applicants a chance to get on-the-job training while attending one of Vancouver Island’s post-secondary institutions. (File photo courtesy North Island College)

Island Health is gaining more health-care assistants with a program that makes training more accessible.

The Health Career Access Program allows people who are interested in the health-care sector work in a non-direct care role while taking part in a health-care assistant education program delivered through one of Vancouver Island’s post-secondary institutions.

“Building up and supporting our workforce is a huge priority at Island Health,” said Pauline Waring, Island Health regional home care strategy manager, in a statement. “We also look for people who work well independently and like variety in their work, as every day is different.”

The program provides those with no experience a path to get hired and receive on-the-job training while attending school. It was set up in partnership with the Ministry of Health to help address human resource challenges in long-term care, assisted living and home support.

Health-care assistants help clients with mobility, daily life activities and personal care – things such as bathing, dressing, meals or helping with physical challenges.

“Before starting this program I worked at the front desk of a resort and liked the idea of helping people,” said Jack Lowe, in the same statement.

Lowe was paid a full-time hourly wage in the program and his schooling was also paid for. He went on to complete the program and is working as a health-care assistant in a long-term care and assisted living facility in Victoria.

“We help people to become independent and self-sufficient, which is such a great feeling.”

To learn more about the program and others in the province, go to

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About the Author: Greater Victoria News Staff

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