Iceland Needs to Import Cooks, Servers, and Tour Guides, Says Industry Expert

Dill restaurant Michelin star

Iceland needs to import chefs, wait staff, tour guides and other specialized workers to support the tourism industry during the current boom, says Jóhannes Þór Skúlason, Managing Director of the Icelandic Travel Industry Association (SAF). reports.

“We need cooks, we need waiters, we need all kinds of specially trained staff, specialized tour guides, etc,” remarked Jóhannes Þór in an interview on the news program Dagmál on Friday. “If we just look at cooks and waiters, there are a couple different dimensions to the problem.”

At the base level, he continued, there just aren’t enough people in Iceland going into training programs for these professions, which means that there is currently a shortage of qualified professionals on the local job market. Jóhannes Þór said the government should be putting more effort into drawing students into these programs and advertising the future opportunities that would be available to people who completed these courses of study.

“But that won’t be enough,” he said, particularly in the present moment. In order to meet its present needs, Iceland needs “to import a group of cooks and trained waiters” right now. But while Jóhannes Þór wasn’t willing to name a specific number of trained service professionals he thought Iceland should be seeking to bring in from abroad, he would concede that “clearly several dozen” are needed at least.

University Receives Record Number of Medical and Physiotherapy Applicants

Háskóli Íslands University of Iceland

A record number of students – 433, to be exact – have registered to take the admissions test to enter the University of Iceland’s programs in medicine and physiotherapy, RÚV reports. There has never before been such a large group of applicants to these programs.

Three hundred and forty-four students have registered to take the medical program entrance exam, which is an increase of 21 students over last year. The physiotherapy program has 99 applicants, which is only one more than last year. All of the applicants take the same test.

The medical program will admit 60 students; 35 students will be admitted to physiotherapy. How many students are admitted to each program depends on how many residency spots are open in hospitals.