In January 2013 a memorandum of understanding was signed by the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, the federation of Icelandic municipalities, the tree main federations of employees and the federation of Icelandic employers on new measures to increase education and training on the labour market. One of the main issues was increasing VET-related training offers at all levels.
The main theme of the memorandum was to increase permeability between the formal education and training system and the non-formal training for adults which is available in parallel. Unemployed people without formal education will be given priority and will continue receiving unemployment benefits while undergoing training.
In 2002, a declaration signed between educational authorities and social partners stated that by 2020, 90% of people on the labour market would have acquired at least an upper secondary school degree, instead of 70% which was the case then. However, little progress has been made towards this goal since, and all partners now acknowledge that it cannot be met in time. The group signing the present memorandum, therefore, want to investigate the hindrances and how they can be eliminated.
Two pilot areas have been selected: one of the suburbs of Reykjavík (where the percentage of immigrants without formally recognised training is unusually high) and the north-western part of Iceland (where the number of inhabitants has declined rapidly).
The government allocated ISK 400 million (EUR 2.3 million) for this initiative in 2013.