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EACEA National Policies Platform


10. Youth work

10.3 Support to youth work

Last update: 28 November 2023
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  1. Policy legal framework
  2. Funding
  3. Cooperation

Policy legal framework

There is no official policy on youth work in Iceland and few if any domestic regulation covers this area. However, initiatives have been made to improve the quality of non-formal and informal learning. In 2014, the ministry of education, science, and culture delivered a report to the European Commission where it described the initial drafts to a qualification framework on education for Iceland and its correlation to the European education framework. The framework represents a new approach in looking at education, where the focus is primarily on the competence at the end of education, regardless of where that education has been achieved, rather than time spent in formal education. This facilitates a better understanding of non-formal and informal education.


As mentioned in chapter 5.6 youth affairs are decentralized in Iceland so financial support for many of the activities undertaken is the responsibility of local authorities. The city of Reykjavík for example, has various activities for informal learning, one which specifically targets young people neither in formal education nor on the job market. The city also operates leisure centers around the city that support the non-formal learning of young people.

The top-level government supports various national youth organizations, as discussed in chapter 5.6. Many of these organizations are directly involved in the non-formal education of young people. Among these are the Icelandic Youth Council, the Icelandic Scout Association, and YMCA and YWCA in Iceland.

The Icelandic Centre for Research oversees Erasmus + on behalf of Iceland. This project supports various youth activities, including volunteering and student exchange.


No documents were found which suggest whether and how national authorities promote frameworks of cooperation between all youth work stakeholders.