In October 2011, the Icelandic Ministry of Education, Science and Culture for the first time allocated funds to workplaces for the training of apprentices.

The Icelandic VET system is based on apprenticeships and workplace training is a prerequisite to the journeyman’s exam. Since the financial crisis hit Iceland in 2008, many workplaces which used to train apprentices have found this impossible due to the costs.

For many years, there has been a debate on who should fund this part of the training and the companies have called for the establishment of a fund to which they could apply for a subsidy for their training costs. A parliamentary decision has been taken to establish such a fund in 2012 but it was decided that in the meantime the Ministry should be in charge of this funding.

54 companies were allocated 75 million IKR (around € 470.000) and will be able to train 174 students. The Hilton hotel in Reykjavik received the highest funding and will train 28 students, both as chefs and waiters.

For both the companies and the students, this is a major breakthrough and will considerably lower the threshold students have to overcome in order to complete their studies. In the years 2012-2014, additional 450 million IKR (€ 2.8 million) will be allocated to the workplace training fund.