3.4 Career guidance and counselling
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For clarification it is useful to distinguish between career guidance and counselling in the school system and career guidance and counselling offered by other public actors.
Matriculation schools and universities offer career guidance and counselling to their students and are subject to the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture. According to the Act No. 92/2008, public matriculation schools and their services are financed by the local government. According to the Act No. 63/2006 Icelandic universities can be run as a public institution, a private non-profit institution, or according to other recognised form of administration. All universities in Iceland receive funding from the state according to the state’s budget bill.
Lifelong learning centres also offer career guidance and counselling for their students, but they are subject to various trade unions and other public actors. Mímir-símenntun is owned by the Icelandic Confederation of Labour, and the Education and Training Service Centre is owned by the Icelandic Confederation of Labour, The Confederation of Icelandic Employers, the Federation of State and Municipal Employees, the Ministry of Finance and the Association of Local Authorities in Iceland.
The Directorate of Labour, subject to the Minstry of Welfare, also offers career guidance and counselling as part of their labour market initiatives for people of all ages.
Reykjavík Youth Centre provides career guidance and counselling specifically targeted at young people seeking employment. Reykjavík Youth Centre is run by the municipality of Reykjavík.
Public funding is administered at the central level to each ministry. The Ministry of Education, Science and Culture and the Ministry of Welfare are the two ministries most involved in the services of career guidance and counselling. According to the fiscal budget for 2016 the latter receives the highest funding among the ministries in the budget bill for 2016 with 301.010 million ISK while the former receives the third highest funding with 80.385 million ISK. The Minister of Education, Science and Culture then makes the final decision on the allocation of funds to i.a. matriculation schools and universities, all of which offer career guidance and counselling to their students. The Minister of Welfare allocates funds to The Directorate of Labour, which offers career guidance and counselling for the public specifically targeted at unemployed people, which of course includes young people.
There are no information regarding any special funding programmes for career guidance and counselling in Iceland.
There are no public documents indicating that systematic monitoring of the quality of career guidance and counselling, such as customer satisfaction enquiries or monitoring of the number of users reached, takes place in Iceland. However, the quality of career guidance and counselling is maintained by obligations of the Act no. 35/2009. Among these obligations is are the minimum standards of education required to receive legal certification and be able to work as a career counsellor. Furthermore, the Association of Career Counsellors in Iceland places all who bear the legal certification of career counsellor under compulsory professional and moral codes of conduct set to international standards.