Vocational Training in Greenland

Vocational Training in Greenland

At the maritime school in Paamiut you can take a vocational education in shipping, fishing and navigation. You can also train as a sheep farmer at the sheep farm school in Upernaviarsuk. At the University of Greenland Ilisimatusarfik you can take a higher education.

Greenland is the world’s largest island and at the same time the northernmost land area in the world with the northernmost point, Cape Morris Jesup, only 740 km from the North Pole. Approx. 85 percent of Greenland is covered by inland ice, and Greenlandic nature and culture have always attracted adventurous people from all over the globe.

Greenland has been inhabited for more than 4,000 years. The first Eskimo immigrants were Arctic hunters from areas along the Bering Sea. The main occupation has always been the capture of fish and other marine animals. Today, the economy is still based on fishing, but also on service industries and block subsidies from Denmark.

In 1985, the country withdrew from the EU following a referendum. In 2009, Greenland became autonomous, which meant that Greenland was made the official language of Greenland. At the same time, the Danish names for Landsting and Landsstyre were abolished, so that today in Greenland – also in Danish – they are called Inatsisartut (formerly Landsting) and Naalakkersuisut (formerly Landsstyre).

Greenland has three time zones: East, West and North Greenland. North of the Arctic Circle, there is midnight sun and polar darkness for up to four months a year.

Worth knowing

Vocational training in Greenland

The Greenlandic vocational educations are similar in structure and content to the Danish vocational educations. There are a number of vocational educations that are special to Greenland, within fishing, shipping and navigation.

  • The School of Fisheries Industry (Aalisarnermik Tunisassiornermik Ilinniarfik, ATI) trains process technicians and organizes continuing education programs aimed at the food industry. The school has production courses, laboratory courses and environmental courses.
  • At the Maritime School in Paamiut (Imarsiornermik Ilinniarfik) you can take courses in navigation, fishing and navigation. The purpose of the navigation training is to train navigators and fishing skippers for the merchant and fishing fleets. The school trains fishing skippers of 1st and 3rd degree as well as set skippers / coastal skippers. The academic content of the educations and exams are organized in accordance with the Danish law on maritime education. The school also holds a wide range of continuing education courses for private seafarers and trained skippers and offers tuition and tests for yachtsmen and yacht skippers.
  • The Sheep Farmers’ School in Upernaviarsuk (Savaatilissat Ilinniarfiat) offers an education in sheep breeding, which consists of modules with theory in Upernaviarsuk and internships with sheep breeders in Greenland and Iceland.

Denmark has entered into a co-operation agreement with the other Nordic countries on vocational education. The agreement means that with a Danish primary school diploma, you are free to apply for admission to a vocational education in another country in the Nordic region, including Greenland.

If you are already in the process of a vocational education, and you want to continue your education in Greenland, you can have your exams and internships transferred to your new place of education.

If you are thinking of taking all or part of your own internship abroad, read the section on internships abroad for vocational education under the section Primary school and upper secondary education.

Economics and education


Nordplus is a co-operation and exchange program that provides support for study stays in the Nordic countries. You can receive a grant for a study stay of between 1 and 12 months. In 2012, the subsidy was 180 euros per month.

Application for Nordplus takes place once a year, typically in January, and you must apply via the Ministry of Education and Research’s website. Here you can also get information about the application procedure and application deadline.

Nordplus Junior
Through Nordplus Junior, you can apply for support for individual internships and training stays in a Nordic country.

Work in Greenland

Unemployment in Greenland was 8.8 per cent of the total labor force in 2011, but is, however, very unevenly distributed geographically. In Nuuk, for example, it is only 1.7%, while in Kangaatsiaq it is 17.2%. of the potential workforce.

You can get more information about the Greenlandic labor market and the employment situation on the Greenland Home Rule Government’s website.

Job search
You can get information about work in Greenland from the EURES Advisers at the Job Centers.

If you are between 18 and 26 years old, you have the opportunity to get a summer job in Greenland through Nordjobb. Nordjobb is a Nordic youth exchange program that offers summer jobs, housing and leisure programs in Finland, Norway, Sweden and Ă…land as well as in the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Greenland.

When you apply for a job through Nordjobb, you cannot apply for a specific job. In your application for Nordjobb, you must write a little about yourself, e.g. education and work experience, as well as which industries you want to work in. Based on your application, you will then be offered a job. Typical jobs can be a nurse, agricultural assistant or gardener.

The exchanges take place in the period approx. May 15 to September 15, and the job lasts from 1 to 4 months. The salary is by agreement, and you have to pay for housing, travel and food yourself.

You can apply per. letter or via the Internet. The application deadline is around May 31 each year, but it is a good idea to apply as early in the year as possible. You can apply from 1 December the year before.

Here you can get more information about Nordjobb.

Work and residence permit
As a Danish citizen, you do not have to apply for a residence or work permit in Greenland. If you are going to work in Greenland, however, your employer must have a permit to employ foreign labor. The permit applies to the specific job and must not be renewed if a new employee is hired for the position.

Study in Greenland

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