The Icelandic Team

icelandic team

Hrafnhildur (Hrabba) Sigurgeirsdottír
Teacher at Verkmenntaskólinn á Akureyri &
Quality manager at Vélsmiðja Steindórs

Hrabba works as a teacher at VMA and as a quality manager in her family metal workshop called Vélsmiðja Steindórs, established 1914. She was raised in that workshop, but many generations of metal workers and craftsmen are in her family (but we are missing a mechanic). She was the first, one on her mother’s side, to complete a university degree. At first she got a graduate diploma in business and economics so that she could learn how to make money. After that she took a U-turn and decided to get a teaching degree. In the end, she got her Master’s degree in Educational Management.

Hrabba is very interested in maintaining the industrial sectors in Iceland as well as in Europe. There is a high demand for industrial workers but there is a lack of them.

She believes that to make this work, the school and the labor market need to collaborate. Educational institutions, labour markets, and trade unions can help introduce the industrial subjects to the community and students. Students interested in these vocational careers need to learn good craftsmanship and how to adapt to future technological advances.

Hrabba loves to spend time with her family and enjoys traveling in Iceland and abroad. She loves to meet new people, learn about different cultures and, help people find their way in life. Her motto is “Find a job that will make you happy and excited to go to work every single day”.

VET in Iceland differs between trades. In some sectors for example, assistant nurses have a good VET program. In other sectors this could be better developed through collaboration between schools and the labour market, this would allow opportunities for students to be more suited for current jobs in the labour market.  Therefore, she is looking forward to disseminating the benefits and obstacles of the VET@work and apprenticeships. The labour market in Iceland is very small. Iceland needs professionals with a broad range of skills and less specialization. It is important that the skills, knowledge and, competence of professionals are very high and adaptable.

Harpa works as a hairdresser at vocational school Verkmenntaskólinn á Akureyri . She started her career at Medulla’s high beauty salon in Akureyri in 1995. She graduated as a hairdresser in 2000. Harpa has written with a master’s and teaching rights in the profession and has worked as a teacher at VMA since 2009. Harpa also works part-time at the high-end beauty salon Adell at Akureyri and takes care of hairdressers for the Akureyri theater.

It can be said that Harpa burns for her profession and hairdressing her main hobby. If Harpa is not working on cutting, coloring or combing hair then she is out camping, she likes to travel around the highlands of Iceland and go sea kayaking.

icelandic team

Harpa Birgisdóttir
Teacher at Verkmenntaskólinn á Akureyri & Hairstylist at Adell

icelandic team

Hulda Háfsteisdóttir
Owner of Hairsaloon Medulla

Hulda Hafsteinsdóttir was born into a hairdressing family. It started with her granddad who was a barber, then his son, Hulda’s father, became a barber as well. Later, Hulda and two of her three siblings, a sister and a brother, became hairdressers. 

To begin with, Hulda started her hairdressing journey in Iceland and graduated as a barber in 1982. Then she moved to Norway and became a hairdresser in 1988. That same year, she finished her masters and moved back to Iceland and opened her own hair salon, Medulla, in November 7th, 1988. Twenty years later, or in 2008, she graduated from the University of Akureyri where she finished a degree in educational studies, which provides her with a teacher certification. 

Since getting her masters she has taken on and taught many hairdressing students through the years and she has interest in empowering the relationship between hairdressing schools, the students, and the working environment.

For ten years, Hulda was a part of Intercoiffure which is the first international organization of high-quality hairdressing, it counts over three thousand salons in 55 countries. You will find most of these salons in the biggest fashion capitals in the world and their leaders are fashion orientated, keen in expanding their profession and share their knowledge.

For the past 10 years, she has been a part of a committee in Iceland that has the cosmetic business at heart as a representative from both SA (Confederation of Icelandic Enterprise) and SI (the Federation of Icelandic Industries). This specific committee consults the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture in Iceland in relation to curriculum, apprenticeship, and other business in relation to the students. Hulda is also a member in the Association of Hairdressers and has had various responsibilities, as well as worked for the Akureyri Theatre Company as a hairdresser.
She finds it a privilege to do what she does, and every day is different than yesterday, she loves to cut, color, and style hair.

Her main interest beside hair is skiing, cross country skiing, exercising, bicycle, hiking, golf and to travel. Her favorite place to be is her summerhouse with her family.
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