VIRK – Vocational Rehabilitation Fund is a non-profit organisation which was originally established by Alþýðusamband Íslands (the Icelandic Confederation of Labour) and SA Samtök atvinnulífsins (the Confederation of Icelandic Employers) in May of 2008. In January of 2009 the charter for the fund was then signed through the participation of trade unions / labour unions and employers in the open labour market. The Fund is based on an agreement for a new organisational arrangement for vocational rehabilitation in the collective bargaining agreements on the labour market in 2008.
Vocational rehabilitation consultants are operating all over Iceland, usually in close cooperation with labour unions and their sickness funds. There are two Virk consultants working at the Hlíf labour union office.
Hlíf labour union is a party to Virk through Alþýðusamband Íslands (the Icelandic Federation of Labour).
VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION CENTRE OF HAFNARFJÖRÐUR
The vocational rehabilitation centre of Hafnarfjörður was established in the autumn of 2008. The founding members were Hlíf Labour Union, the Association of Hafnarfjörður municipal employees, Hafnarfjörður municipality and Sjúkraþjálfarinn (Physiotherapist).
The rehabilitation is centered on the individual person (individualized) and the participants follow different routes and at different tempos. They endeavour to utilize resources that are available in the micro-society, such as the health-, social-, and educational sectors.
A significant part of the rehabilitation takes place in a group where there is cooperative learning and the participants work towards empowering and strengthening themselves in cooperation and interaction with each other. The goal is to increasingly enhance the independence of the participants as the rehabilitation progresses.
- Þátttakandi = Participant
- Heilbrigðisþjónusta = Health service
- Félagsþjónusta = Social services
- Ráðgjafi/tengiliður = Consultant/contact person
- Hópefli = Group Empowerment
- Fræðsla og stuðningur = Education and support
- Hópastarf = Group work
- Líkamsþjálfun = Physical training
- Nám = Learning
- Fjármálaráðgjöf = Financial conultation
- Sálfræðiráðgjöf = Psychological services
- Önnur sérfræðiþjónusta = Other professional service
Efforts are made to accommodate the needs of each individual participant as much as possible. The participants are assisted in understanding their own situation, ability to work, learning needs and possibilities. Various basic courses are being held and the participants are also being offered educational rehabilitation. The educational part of the rehabilitation then will take place outside of the rehabilitation centre and the Vocational Rehabilitation Centre of Hafnarfjörður will supply support, consultation and it will also manage other parts of the rehabilitation.
As examples of professional services that can be offered to the participants can be mentioned social services consultation, finance consultation, family counselling, occupational therapy, academic and vocational counselling, nutrition counselling, physiotherapist counselling and psychologist interviews.
During the entire rehabilitation period participants will take part in regular support interviews with a specific consultant from the Rehabilitation Centre and they will receive encouragement and restraint with respect to working towards their goals. They receive assistance in their job search or with selecting a course of study that suits them and they will be able to stop the rehabilitation and begin working on the labour market whenever they are ready for it. Therefore, they will participate in the vocational rehabilitation for a different length of time, all according to the needs of each single person and according to the nature of the rehabilitation.