Bifröst University (BU) is an institution of considerable diversity, which offers its students training in business, law, and social sciences, and prepares them for positions of responsibility and leadership. Today the number of students in Bifrost University is around 1.300 students. The University focuses on continuous training in collaboration with the retail and service sector. For the last 10 years BU have been offering a two year diploma education for store managers. The intention is to link the education for retail trainers to this diploma education.
The Centre for Retail Studies was founded in 2004 by the initiative of Icelandic retailers’ federation with support of Ministry of Trade and Industries and Bifrost University, where the centre is hosted. The mission of the Centre for Retail Studies is to increase the competitiveness of the retail sector in Iceland with applied research, statistical work and educational development for the sector. The Centre is partly financed by the Ministry of Industry and Innovation and the national employers and employee’s trade organisations.
The Education and Training Service Centre (FA) is owned by the Icelandic Confederation of Labour (ASÍ), the Confederation of Icelandic Employers (SA) and the Federation of State and Municipal Employees, the Association of Local Authorities in Iceland and the Ministry of Finance. The centre targets those who have not completed the upper secondary level of education. This target group comprises 35% of people in the labour market, although the ratio varies between years and regions. The objective is to enable individuals who have not graduated from the upper secondary level to obtain an education and improve their position in the labour market in cooperation with life long learning centres around the country who take care of the learners (and users).
BEST was founded in 1987 as an independent vocational qualification institute. Its main activities comprise adult education, vocational qualification, guidance of unemployed people and training of key qualifications for re-integration into the labour market. The institute offers training facilities for up to 14.000 students per year. The training methods for different target groups include own pedagogic and didactic methods, especially for integration and motivation, as well as e-Learning based trainings which are constantly being updated. As one of the first training institutes in Austria, BEST has become a certified Eco-C-centre (European Communication Certificate) and provides respective trainings and tests. Within its International Projects Department, BEST shows long experience of cooperation more than 100 European projects, both as coordinator and partner. The institute is focused on exchange of experience and practice, as well as joint development with European partners.
TESCO Distribution employs 350 employees and 150 agency staff in a logistics distribution centre that serves TESCO's 135 retail outlets in the Republic of Ireland. Their staff are a key element in the logistics process and are crucial in providing quality assurance for their customers. The roles in the distribution centre have a variety of skills requirements and vary from semi-skilled to roles requiring high level of IT and systems skills. One of their key people objectives is the provision of high quality training opportunities for all staff, to equip them with the skills to do their jobs and to provide training that will enable them to build a career within the company and in the world of logistics. To this end they are keen to develop training programmes that will enable staff to be cross trained in a variety of areas in the centre and get opportunities to sample working in the various areas of the logistics chain. This objective fits closely with the projects objectives.
Samkaup is Iceland's third largest retail chain with 48 stores spread all over Iceland. Main focuses is on grocery. Samkaup is owned by co-operative retail enterprises.