Fræðslunetið – símenntun á Suðurlands is a lifelong learning center located in the South coast of Iceland, founded in 1999 by municipalities, companies and main associations in the southern area of Iceland.
There are 12 employees and up to 50 teachers and instructors who work on various projects on behalf of Fræðslunetið. The main office is located in Selfoss the largest town on the south coast. Also there are four stations along the south coast, in Hvolsvöllur, Vík í Mýrdal, Kirkjubæjarklaustur and Höfn í Hornafirði.
Our main goal is to offer courses for adults, develop educational opportunities for low-skilled individuals and to encourage people on the labor market to practice continuous education and career development. Fræðslunetið focus groups are those who have not completed the upper secondary level of education which is about 30% of the labor force in the area. The main issue is to enable individuals from our target group to achieve further education as to strengthen and improve their employability. Another focus group are immigrants who come from different countries, mostly Europeans. They need Icelandic language courses which are performed in five different levels and other special programs designed for immigrants to enable them to settle down in a new country. Fræðslunetið also offers curricula especially accredited by our government in favor for individuals and the labor market. All accredited curricula are designed and developed by The Education and Training Service Centre – Fræðslumiðstöð atvinnulífsins. Fræðslunetið has been accredited by a European system called European Quality Mark (EQM). Further information can be found at European quality mark.
• VPL (validation of prior learning) and career development
• Educational and vocational guidance / there are two career counselors at Fræðslunetið
• Educational service for companies and public organizations
Fræðslunetið has growing experience in validation of prior learning (VPL). Validation of prior learning is a systematic process whereby all knowledge and competencies that individuals have gained through various activities – such as work experience, work-related learning, non-formal and informal learning, formal learning, social activities and family life – are formally documented and validated.
The Education and Training Service Centre (ETSC) in Iceland has developed methods for validation of non-formal and informal learning. The role of the ETSC is to ensure quality and guarantee that the approved methodology is implemented in the sectors where the validation is being applied, as well as manage the implementation of the validation process in new sectors. Fræðslunetið has used this methodology in many projects with good results for those who want to continue formal learning. In this VPL process we offer participants career counseling as a guidance through these projects and free of charge for those belonging to our target groups.
After over 20 years of working with low-skilled adults Fræðslunetið staff has gained a good experience in providing appropriate opportunities for our focus group i.e. individuals with little formal education. Over the last years we have been providing growing distance learning as a way to spread our service to the whole of our area which covers 30.968 km2.