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A Skills Beyond School Commentary on Iceland


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Building on current experience in the occupational councils, the Icelandic employers are clearly willing to further engage with the VET system.

The system is highly diverse, with many options, programmes and modes of study serving the needs of many different groups.

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A Skills Beyond School Commentary on Iceland

  1. 1. Skills beyond School, the OECD Review of PostsecondaryVocational Education and TrainingA SKILLS BEYONDSCHOOL COMMENTARYON ICELAND
  2. 2. • Building on current experience in theoccupational councils, the Icelandic employersare clearly willing to further engage with the VETsystem.• The system is highly diverse, with many options,programmes and modes of study serving theneeds of many different groups.Strengths
  3. 3. • There is a strong apprenticeship systemassociated with the regulated trades, with aneffective balance of on and off the job training,and clear options for further upskilling as mastercraftsman or through other routes.• Outside apprenticeships, most upper secondaryvocational programmes make use of workplacetraining. Additional incentives have recentlybeen created to provide such placements.Strengths
  4. 4. • In sites throughout Iceland, combined withdistance learning, vocational programmes aremade available to a widely dispersed populationin rural areas.• There are effective adult learning arrangementsin place. Arrangements to offer second chancesso that dropouts can return to education andtraining are strong.Strengths
  5. 5. • Good use is made of recognition of priorlearning, helping adults to re-engage witheducation.Strengths
  6. 6. • Dropout is a major challenge, particularlyaffecting vocational programmes. Althoughmany dropouts return to education and traininglater on, this still represents delay andinefficiency in initial education and training.• Despite the creation of the occupationalcommittee, it may not have the rightcomposition to assist in the overall steering ofthe VET system.Challenges
  7. 7. • The strong apprenticeship system is not usedoutside the traditional trade professions. Thismay be a missed opportunity.• The mix of provision in VET primarily reflectsstudent preferences, and gives inadequateweight to labour market needs.Challenges
  8. 8. • Transitions between upper secondary vocationalprogrammes and higher education aresometimes obstructed or difficult to navigate.• Articulation between postsecondary VET anduniversity education is often lacking, so thatcredit is not portable.• Career guidance may retain an academic bias,and is sometimes lacking.Challenges
  9. 9. • Increasingly countries look beyond secondary school tomore advanced qualifications to provide the skillsneeded in many of the fastest growing technical andprofessional jobs in OECD economies. The OECD study,Skills beyond School, is addressing the range of policyquestions arising, including funding and governance,matching supply and demand, quality assurance andequity and access. The study will build on the success ofthe previous OECD study of vocational education andtraining Learning for Jobs which examined policythrough 17 country reviews and a comparative report.Skills beyond School Reviews
  10. 10. • Full country policy reviews are being conducted inAustria, Denmark, Egypt, Germany, Israel, Korea, theNetherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom(England), and the United States (with case studies ofFlorida, Maryland and Washington State). Shorterexercises leading to an OECD country commentary willbe undertaken in Belgium (Flanders), Canada, Iceland,Romania, Spain, Sweden and in Northern Ireland andScotland in the United Kingdom. Background reportswill be prepared in all these countries, and in France andHungary. Further information is available on the OECDwebsite beyond School Reviews
  11. 11. Visit to download yourcopy of the review for free