Episode IV.5 – Linking education to the needs of the territory
Date: March 9th 2018
Participants (organisations): UNMFFREO (France), FD MFR Reunion (France), IFOCAP (France), Sol et Civilisation (France), OFFA (Belgium), Verkmenntaskólinn á Akureyri – VMA (Iceland), GAL Napoca Porolissum (Romania), Viva Sol (Lithuania), BSC (Slovenia) and SÍMEY (Iceland).
At Símey the group was greeted by the manager Valgeir Blöndal Magnússon and two project managers at SÍMEY Kristín Björk Gunnarsdóttir and Aníta Jónsdóttir. SÍMEY promotes lifelong learning and strives to increase cooperation between the labour market and schools. SÍMEY gives people in the Eyjafjörður area an opportunity to have access to practical education at all levels. SÍMEY cooperates with all kinds of institutions that offer education, within or outside the traditional educational system, whether vocational education, leisure, academic or practical education. SÍMEY focuses on disseminating, collecting and processing information, thus creating opportunities for a more targeted and effective education structure. SÍMEY and linked organisations are found all over Iceland, they are independent non profit with funding from the government.
The purpose of SÍMEY is to heighten the educational status of people since many people in Iceland have a low education level. SÍMEY also puts special effort in counselling people with low education. They also put focus on special target groups like people with disabilities, immigrants and young adults. They also target groups like administrators in companies and groups within the labour market. What they do: counselling, validation of prior skills, help people boost their self esteem, analyse company needs, ability analysis, job profiles and coach people on how to bring about career development. The springboard is targeting unemployed people and that has proven to be very successful. A group of young people in the area does not seem to get into contact with the labour market. SÍMEY tries to direct them into their strong sectors. Finally SÍMEY points out that without cooperation and diversity in the educational system there is the danger of layering of the society. Schools and other educational institutions need to adjust their programs to the needs of the society.