The Icelandic field trials started late October. Reaching participants has been more of a challenge than anticipated. So far, we have recruited 14 participants out of 50. Even though people born in Poland are the most numerous group of immigrants in Iceland as in previous years, reaching in 2018, approx. 40% of the total immigration population in Iceland or around 17.000.
The construction boom in Iceland the past years may explain some resistance to employee flexibility. It seems like the notion of validation of prior learning and what it can lead to is unfamiliar to the target group.
Of those participants that have gone through the validation process are scoring high, credits are assessed towards the National curriculum and are “scoring” similar to their Icelandic colleagues that have gone through the same validation process. Working with an interpreter has been invaluable but at the same time requires a different approach. The assessors and the interpreter went through the same preparation course on cultural awareness and how to work with an interpret. That has made a great difference in how well the process has gone so far.
The Upper Secondary Vocational schools are willing to offer extra support to VISKA participants. The VISKA project partners have been working towards finding extra support for the VISKA participants that want to complete their qualifications in Iceland. The VISKA project partners have only met good will and serious commitment from both the Ministry of Education and VET school principals.
Happy holidays from Iceland!