The long summer school holidays are here and once again young teenage students have the opportunity to work through some of their summer holidays for the local shires around Iceland. This has been a tradition for many years and during summer you will often see groups of teenagers engaged in a range of work activities, sweeping, weeding, picking up rubbish, planting summer public gardens, assisting adults with younger children in summer activity programs etc. The students are paid for the hours they do, the renumeration ranges from around 350-600 kr per hour (approx 2.50-5.00 AUD) depending on age. There are also strict guidelines according to age how many hours/days/weeks of their holidays are taken up with this work and teenagers are always supervised by adults. This is a very popular concept here, it is not compulsory but I think very much encouraged by parents and I am sure these activities contribute to community spirit and pride within the youth. Apparently in the Skagafjörður region 81% of children in the 13-16 year age group participate.
Students planting the Church Square (my front yard) garden beds
Students weeding the path around the Church Square, they also weeded the footpaths around the Old Post House....I am very grateful!
On one outing to Akureyri with friends Patricia and Bjarki....Bjarki pointed out that the footpath we were walking on was one that he laid as part of his summer work as a teenager.
Here is a link to a 1961 British Pathe trailer on Icelandic Youth and this school/work tradition.