Fishery was for decades Iceland’s main source of income. Although other sectors have grown and tourism has taken over the main contributor role to the economy, fishery products still account for around 40% of the country’s exports.
However, young people have not seen themselves as likely to work in the fishing industry, mainly because they know little about the sector’s opportunities. Síldarvinnslan, a fishery company based in the small town of Neskaupstaður in the east of Iceland, has taken the initiative to change this by opening a small school for local children where they are introduced to all aspects of fishery from the time a boat leaves the harbour until processed fish is on the consumer’s plate.
In summer 2014, pupils aged 15 to 16 were offered to participate in a two week’s course, where they visited ships, processing factories and service companies in the fishing industry. During the course, pupils received a small salary.
The action was such a success that Síldarvinnslan wants to expand and cooperate with other fishery companies in the region offering opportunities to youngsters.
In February 2015, Síldarvinnslan received an award ‘educational sprout’ at the annual education day of the labour market, where over 300 people from the education sector, companies and the political arena participated.
Síldarvinnslan (Icelandic only)