Fræðslumiðstöð atvinnulífsins (FA) (e.The Education and Training Service Centre (ETSC)) is owned by the Icelandic Confederation of Labour (ASÍ), the Confederation of Icelandic Employers (SA), the Federation of State and Municipal Employees (BSRB), the Ministry of Finance and the Association of Local Authorities in Iceland. In connection with the collective agreement between ASI and SA in 2002, the Icelandic government issued a statement of intent which led to the establishment of FA. Operation began in 2003.
In 2010 Parliament passed the Adult Education Act. The aim of the Act is to meet the needs of adults with short formal education and also to meet the needs of the labour market for staff with increased knowledge and skills. On the basis of the Adult Education Act, studies outside upper secondary schools and universities will have increased weight.
A service agreement with The Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, provides state budget funding for the operation of FA. The service agreenent includes serviceing the Educational Fund which finaces education and training courses, counselling, and validation by accredited educational providers.
The board of the Education Fund is responsible for the allocation of funds and for establishing rules and policies for the Fund’s operations that are approved by the Minister.
Main responsibilitiesThe Education and Training Service Centre (ETSC) operates in accordance with the service contract with The Ministry of Education, Science and Culture. Its main responsibilities include:
- Writing curricula and programme descriptions and collaborating with ETSC’s contracted partners in their development.
- Ensuring the development and dissemination of methods to validate non-formal and informal learning, as well as monitoring their implementation and providing training and feedback to specialists.
- Supervising the development of guidance and counselling for ETSC’s target group in cooperation with educational providers and specialists in Iceland and abroad, and sharing this knowledge with professionals in the field.
- Identifying the educational needs of the target group in cooperation with the employment sector and educational providers in order to develop an inventory of long- and short-term courses to meet those needs.
- Developing methods in the field of accredited adult education in cooperation with educational providers and communicating both national and international innovations to specialists.
- Enhancing the quality of educational activities and guidance by accredited educational providers through the development of quality standards in consultation with the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture.
- Collecting, maintaining and sharing information on the target group and its educational needs.
- Administering The Education Fund and its finances.
- Developing and maintaining a student registry in cooperation with educational providers and the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, taking into account the validation of informal study and non-formal learning.