WorkSafeBC and the Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences have announced a scholarship initiative designed to encourage and support students pursuing a career in disability management.
Disability management professionals collaborate with workers, employers, unions, health care providers, and workers’ compensation boards to maintain injured workers’ connections to their workplaces during recovery, and facilitate their safe, early return to work.
“These scholarships will ultimately help workers who’ve been injured access highly trained and qualified professionals to support their transition back to employment,” says Lee Loftus, vice chair of WorkSafeBC. “Effective Return to Work programs are critical to maintaining an injured worker’s physical, mental, and financial health.”
The two-year pilot project commits up to $150,000 per year to allow a maximum of 25 students with the relevant prerequisites to transfer into the Bachelor of Disability Management degree program at PCU-WHS. Each student will be awarded $6,000, covering most of the tuition costs for each year of the two-year program.
“A top priority,” adds B.C. Minister of Labour Harry Bains, “is to ensure injured or ill workers get the resources and support they need. This scholarship program supports that priority, by helping fill a gap in B.C.’s workforce, increasing the availability of skilled workers in disability management, and ensuring graduates have a consistently high standard of practice.”
Students will be eligible for the scholarship after completing a two-year diploma or other prerequisites in a range of disciplines, but preferably in human resources, occupational health and safety, health care, social work, or business.
“The applied bachelor qualification offered,” adds PCU-WHS President Wolfgang Zimmermann, “is the first of its kind nationally and internationally. It focuses on the core competencies required to help workplaces develop a culture of accommodation and successfully maintain employment for workers who acquire a mental or physical health impairment.
Detailed information on the scholarship fund is available on the PCU-WHS website.