Foreign workers are extremely important to the tourism industry

In an article published on Vísi today, Haukur Harðarson, project manager of the Tourism Competence Center, draws attention to recent guidelines that are intended to facilitate the recruitment process and the employee's adjustment in the Icelandic labor market.

The article can be read below.

The tourism industry is facing the challenge that a large part of the foreign workers who worked in the industry before the pandemic have disappeared and have moved to other industries. Before the pandemic, people of foreign origin made up a third of the total number of tourism workers. Without their workforce, it would not have been possible to receive the large number of tourists who visited the country and serve them in the way they wanted. These were staff who settled here with their families, but also so-called seasonal staff who came here to work during the high season. Analysts' forecasts, such as the Central Bank and SA, indicate that 15 foreign workers will be needed in the economy in the coming years, of which 7 to 8 will be in tourism.

It is important that the tourism industry welcomes foreign nationals who come to Iceland to work and receive the reception. The professional and good reception of new staff is the key to a successful collaboration, happy staff creates a good reputation for the tourism industry - here, there and everywhere.

Foreign nationals need to apply for a variety of permits and rights to work here. Different rules apply depending on whether they come from Member States within or outside the EEA / EFTA. In order to give employers an overview of what needs to be done in the recruitment process and to facilitate access to information, the Tourism Competence Center, in collaboration with the Multicultural Center, SAF, ASÍ and tourism companies, has compiled guidelines for both parties to follow. There you can also find information that can speed up the recruitment process and the employee's adjustment in the Icelandic labor market. Employers are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the material and refer it to their foreign staff.

The guidelines were presented at Menntamorgni ferðaþjónustan which took place recently and Jóhannes Þór Skúlason, CEO of SAF and chairman of the meeting, said on the occasion:

It is important that the tourism industry welcomes foreign nationals who come to Iceland to work and receive the reception.

"[…] We need to refresh our knowledge of how we receive foreign staff, how we go through training for foreign staff, how they are equipped so that the companies and staff can take care of the customers, get to keep costs down for companies and get people into jobs as soon as possible and with the best possible facilities […] "

Nichole Leigh Mosty, director of the Multicultural Center, gave a talk entitled Diversity works and gave good advice on how to handle the reception of foreign staff.

"When we welcome people and inform them, we prevent misunderstandings, unrealistic expectations or misinformation from the beginning [and] promote the trust and credibility of the employer."

The instructions Foreign staff - recruitment process can be accessed on the Hæfnisetur's website, hæfni.is.

A recording from Menntamorgn can be accessed at facebook page Hæfnisetur ferðajónustunnar.

Haukur Harðarson, project manager of the Tourism Competence Center

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