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Staff of overseas origin attend training courses

HB Grandi regularly holds training courses for its staff, but this week and next week 18 staff will be attending a course in which they all have something in common – all of them are immigrants to Iceland.

Bergur Einarsson, foreman at the Nordurgardur factory in Reykjavík, has managed these training courses, which are held in co-operation with the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture. The Ministry’s Hulda Lilliendahl has the contents of the courses. The Ministry also provides instructors training materials and interpreters, while staff maintain their usual rates of pay while training.

‘We have thirteen people being trained this week, ten from Poland and three from the Czech Republic, and next week we have a course for five Chinese staff,’ says Bergur Einarsson, adding that each course lasts a full week with teaching from 0800 to 1600 each day, covering the whole process of fishing and processing, as well as handling of raw material, safety and hygiene practices, first aid and aspects of marketing. According to Bergur Einarsson, staff have responded well to the training programme, especially as staff jump up two pay levels once they have completed the course.

First course in 1986

The first course of this kind was held in 1986 and was attended by staff from Grandi hf, with the whole 200-strong workforce attending a series of courses. Bergur Einarsson was one of those staff and recalls the courses: ‘They were held at the University at that time, but these days we use the classroom we have at HB Grandi’s Nordurgardur factory,’ he says and estimates that since 1986 several thousand people have attended these courses as HB Grandi employees.