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Iceland: Fishing industry education and training in Iceland

Established in 2010, the Icelandic College of Fisheries (ICF) became a certified VET training institution in 2012.  The only one of its kind in Iceland, it is an industry-based college offering education and basic training in fisheries, fish processing and aquaculture as well as providing specialised programmes, tailor-made courses and in-service training for the fishing industry in Iceland. The college is situated in Grindavík – one of the larger fishing communities in Iceland - and works closely with many of the largest and most technically advanced fishing industry companies in the country.

Basic and specialisation programmes

It offers a basic two-year training programme (EQF 3) designed to give students general knowledge of the different aspects of the fishing industry as well as practical training. Over 90 students have finished the two-year programme (2017) and there are currently about 90 students in the initial programme.  Half of the student body is in Grindavík, the other half at partner institutions around the country. In line with new incentives in the fishing industry’s collective wage agreements – aiming to reduce the number of unskilled workers in the processing industry – candidates who complete the two-year programme are eligible for significant wage increases.

A one-year for added specialisation programme (EQF 4) comes in three forms for students who have finished the basic programme and for those with long experience in the workplace. The programmes are Marel-processing technician (EQF 4), Quality management (EQF 4), and Aquaculture (EQF 4). Since 2015, 35 students have finished the quality management programme and 18 the Marel-processing technician programme; 20 students are now (2018) in the quality management and aquaculture programmes, with a new group (12) starting the Marel programme in the autumn of 2018.

The Marel (processing technician) programme was developed in cooperation with MAREL industries. As one of the leading companies in machinery and automation for the food processing industry, the objective is to train people from the fishing industry in maximising the yield from catch to packaging through intensive training in modern processing equipment. 

The programme for quality management is designed to meet the need for trained staff in quality control and for standards in the fishing industry. As with the Marel technicians, the programme attracts experienced workers from the industry, many of whom use the opportunity to develop or improve current measures and existing practices in their respective workplace.

The aquaculture programme in was developed in cooperation with Hólar University College and designed for trained staff in the fast-growing industry in Iceland.

Additional programmes

In cooperation with The Sudurnes Comprehensive College in Keflavik, the Icelandic College of Fisheries is also responsible for the practical training of commercial fishing gear technicians (Net maker). As a certified trade in Iceland, the programme is conducted over three-years.

The ICF has, for the past five years, been the leading national provider of in-service training courses and programmes for the fishing industry in Iceland.  The ICF has also provided training for students from some of our partner schools in a Nordic fisheries schools network and in development programmes.

Besides curriculum development and production of textbooks, the Nordic Network of Fisheries Schools has vast experience in international cooperation and development programmes and is currently leading a network programme of Nordic fisheries training colleges.

More information at the Iceland College of Fisheries website

News Details

02/07/2018
ReferNet Iceland