Home Education Explore rewarding careers in BC seniors care with the FAST program

Explore rewarding careers in BC seniors care with the FAST program

Explore rewarding careers in BC seniors care with the FAST program

Seniors care is one of Canada’s fastest-growing sectors as the population ages. Not only are there plenty of options for rewarding work across many different roles, but sector growth means there will be terrific prospects for advancement. Interested? If you’re a skilled newcomer in British Columbia or are willing to relocate to BC, take advantage of the free FAST Seniors Care program to improve your job prospects and learn all about the sector, including:

  • what skills are valuable in the industry,
  • how to best present their skills to employers, and even
  • connect directly with employers looking to hire now for open positions.

Also read: British Columbia eases international credentials recognition for newcomer professionals

The FAST Seniors Care program

The program has been designed by the Immigrant Employment Council of BC and the BC Care Providers Association to prepare newcomers for work in Canada and offers a specialized curriculum for those interested in working in seniors care. You simply need a valid work permit, solid English communication skills (other languages are a bonus!), and a few other basic requirements like routine vaccinations for healthcare workers to get hired in the sector.

“As our population continues to age, the demand for senior care services is set to increase significantly over the next decade,” says Terry Lake, CEO of BC Care Providers Association. “This presents a great opportunity for newcomers to Canada, young people, and older workers returning to the workforce, making the senior care sector a promising avenue for career growth and stability.”

The seniors care sector is the second fastest-growing sector in British Columbia and is projected to add nearly 30,000 jobs over the next decade. With this growth, opportunities to get hired and advance your career will be abundant. With the sector currently experiencing a worker shortage, it has never been a better time for workers to find rewarding jobs, both in large urban centres or smaller cities and towns.

A few facts about the sector’s growing demand for workers:

  • In Canada, people over 65 make up 15.6% of the population, and this demographic is set to grow to 23% by 2030. Today, there are more Canadian adults over 65 than youth under the age of 15.
  • According to the Canadian Medical Association, the demand for elder care is set to double in the next 10 years. Demand for long-term and home care is expected to reach 2.3 million Canadians in 2031, up from 1.5 million in 2019.

Job diversity and work-life balance is a bonus

While many people in seniors care do provide direct, hands-on care to seniors living independently or in assisted living and long-term care communities, there are a wide range of jobs available:

  1. Non-medical support services and assisting health occupations (housekeepers, laundry aides, companions.)
  2. Hands-on personal care services (personal support workers, care aides, home support workers, etc.)
  3. Nursing (registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, supervisor, etc.)
  4. Allied health professionals (physiotherapist, dietitian, social worker, recreation therapist etc.)
  5. Business and Administration (advertising, finance, human resources, etc.)
  6. Culinary arts (chef, cook, etc.)
  7. Leadership and Executive (CEO, Director of Operations, site manager, etc.)

This means that the rapidly growing sector has a place for people with skills, education, and experience as accountants, business analysts, nurses, physiotherapists, cooks, and much more.

Also read: Get these 3 things right in your job interview

Photo courtesy of the BC Care Providers Association

In addition to a rewarding career that gives them a strong feeling of purpose, a BC Care Providers Association poll of 1,200 workers in frontline seniors care found that 84% appreciated the abundant job opportunities in the sector and 71% appreciated the ability their job gave them to balance work and family life.

“Caregiving is a journey filled with joy and fulfillment, knowing that every day I have the opportunity to make a positive impact on someone’s life,” says Patricia Asto, Caregiver at Hero Home Care and 2023 BC Care Provider of the Year Award in Home Health winner.

“Working with seniors is one of the most rewarding and challenging experiences, allowing my compassion, empathy, and patience to flourish as I help my clients navigate life’s challenges. The most satisfying aspect is feeling appreciated and respected for the difference I make, especially in a field with such high demand due to Canada’s growing aging population. Working in health care is both an honour and a privilege, and it brings profound joy through heartfelt connections and the real difference made in people’s lives.”

Ready to begin your exciting career journey in BC?

“The FAST program is special because it not only gives you the knowledge you need for success in getting hired in the seniors care sector but can directly connect you with employers looking to hire,” says Patrick MacKenzie, CEO of IEC-BC. “That’s a rare opportunity.”

Newcomers with training and experience in medicine and nursing will find themselves in high sector demand after completing recertification or training programs by a healthcare regulator in Canada to be legally eligible to work in direct clinical care. For them, the FAST program provides the same useful knowledge about the sector and ability to make connections with employers as they complete the process.

The bottom line? Seniors care offers a wide variety of jobs, great advancement potential, and a rewarding, meaningful career to newcomers.

If there are others you know who would benefit from the FAST Seniors Care program, share this article with them!


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