Unemployed Icelanders will be able to access free training in eSports coaching, thanks to a new collaboration between the Social Affairs Ministry and the Icelandic eSports Association. Iceland’s government has invested ISK 10 million ($78,000/€64,000) in developing and implementing the coaching course specifically for locals who are currently between jobs. Participants will receive a six-month work contract upon completion of training. One goal of the project is to create permanent jobs in the growing eSports industry.
“I am very excited about this collaboration with the Icelandic eSports Association, where we are hitting two birds with one stone,” stated Ásmundur Einar Daðason, Minister of Social Affairs and Children. “Create exciting opportunities for unemployed individuals and at the same time strengthen eSports infrastructure. There is a lot of strength and growth in eSports in Iceland, but the industry is young and therefore the infrastructure in clubs is often lacking. There has also been a lack of individuals who have experience in training young people, and it is very important that we get individuals with skills and experience into [the eSports industry].”
Ólafur Hrafn Steinarsson, chairman of the Icelandic eSports Association, celebrated the initiative. “This project is extremely important for eSports in Iceland and a great recognition of the excellent work that has been done for eSports in recent years.”
Esports are a form of organised video game competitions, played both individually and in teams. The industry has been growing globally as well as within Iceland, which boasts over 20 eSports clubs that provide eSport activities and training for over 600 children. “This project enables us to be at the forefront of developments in this field globally,” Ólafur Hrafn stated of the initiative. “There are exciting times ahead in this new field.”
Iceland’s government put together a task force last December to write a policy concerning the eSports industry. The group is expected to finish their work at the end of this month.