Maritime Forum

Maritime Forum Themes

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Skills and career development in the blue economy

Our coasts and seas have the potential to deliver sustainable growth and jobs in the coming years. A competitive, resilient and socially fair blue economy needs highly qualified and skilled professionals. Many blue economy sectors have difficulties to find the right people. The current situation, e.g. COVID-19, increases the challenges even more.

Acknowledged areas of concern are:

  • skills gap between education offer and labour market needs is even more accentuated by the twin digital and climate transitions;
  • lack of communication and cooperation between education and industry;
  • lack of attractiveness and awareness of career opportunities in the blue economy;
  • lack of ocean literacy culture at the basis of it all.

Actions put in place to tackle these concerns:

1. Blue careers in Europe call for proposals

The blue careers project aim to establish platforms for cooperation between business and education, at local/regional or transnational level. It aims to develop and implement concrete actions to close the skills gap, tackle the unemployment challenge and raise the attractiveness of "blue careers" among students.

With the last “Call for proposals on Blue Careers”, eight projects have been selected. The new 'blue career' projects will work towards enhancing career opportunities in the maritime economy, while the 'blue labs' projects will focus on young researchers helping them to bring research results to the market.

Building on lessons learned, a new call is foreseen for 2021.

2. Blueprint on sectorial skills cooperation for the maritime technology sector

The European maritime technology industry is a world leader in terms of innovation and key enabler. It provides the more advanced technologies and structures needed to ensure the development of all maritime activities, such as offshore renewable energy, shipbuilding or aquaculture. It also figures among the industrial ecosystems for recovery, identified recently in the new ‘European Skills Agenda for sustainable competitiveness, social fairness and resilience’ published on 1st July 2020.

Back in June 2016 the Commission launched the "new skills agenda for Europe" to make sure that people develop the skills necessary for the jobs of today and tomorrow, contributing to growth across the EU. The “blueprint for sectoral skills cooperation” was one of the 10 concrete measures to support the implementation of this skills agenda for Europe. The maritime technology sector has been selected as one of the identified sectors to pilot this initiative.

The sector has radically changed and diversified over the last decade, passing from classical steel-intensive ship types to building the most complex and advanced technologies and vessels. It is currently one of the most research-intensive sectors in Europe (9% of its GDP invested in RDI). The industry is continuously innovating and diversifying into new activities. It also provides the technologies and vessels to enable a sustainable and safe development of the blue economy, e.g. offshore wind, ocean energy, marine biotechnology, aquaculture, deep-sea exploration and surveillance. At the same time, it also updates traditional shipping techniques in response to sustainability and climate change criteria.

To consider the needs of the sector in the future, particularly in the shipbuilding and offshore renewable energy production value chains, the dedicated Blueprint project MATES is attempting to provide useful insights in terms of skills needs and gaps.

more information

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Becoming a European Blue School, teacher workshops

This two-part workshop series will focus on becoming a European Blue School by developing school projects on one of the three ocean and sea issues: Food from the Ocean, Climate and Ocean, Healthy and Clean Ocean.

Last update: 04/02/21

Blue Careers projects

up-skilling the blue economy for the Green Deal

Last update: 06/01/21

We are officially launching the first call for project submission of the Youth4Ocean Forum!

Do you have a project in mind to raise awareness of consumers on sustainable seafood or an innovative business plan to use marine resources sustainably? Or something completely different that you think has the potential to change things? We welcome applications from anyone involved or interested in the sustainable use of marine resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of marine ecosystems.

Last update: 18/11/20

Workshop Sealogy: Engaging Italian schools for the ocean

In this workshop at Sealogy (19-21 November), we introduce the concept of a European Blue School and explore how Italian schools and ocean professionals can take part, build connections and become engaged in the Network of European Blue Schools.

Last update: 13/11/20

Black Sea Action Day – speaking up for a clean and healthy sea!

For the first time in the history of this event of 24 years, all the activities will be online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mare Nostrum NGO prepared a series of challenges and useful information for citizens, in order to emphasize responsible behaviours and sustainable consumption of resources.

Start date: 31/10/2020 - 09:00
Last update: 03/11/20

Black Sea Workshop: European Blue Schools

Join us on 28th October for an online meeting with the ocean literacy stakeholders from the Black Sea Basin, to discuss how the Network of European Blue Schools can accelerate the process of schools and students becoming agents of change. This event is organised by BSUN, in collaboration with Black Sea CONNECT Consortium, Mare Nostrum, European Marine Science Educators Association (EMSEA) and Ciencia Viva.

Start date: 28/10/2020 - 13:00
Last update: 26/10/20

Message on Mediterranean Coast Day (25 September)

The public has an important role to play. Thanks to the rise of mobile broadband, today’s “Mediterraneans” are better informed and more organized than any other generation. Simple purchasing decisions taken at the supermarket and online clicks matter greatly. Businesses spend vast amounts to understand their customers’ preferences in order to tailor products and services accordingly. Observation shows that sustainable options will rise on the market if there is demand for it.

Last update: 28/09/20

EU4Ocean – Together for seas and oceans. The advice of a European youngster.

She is Bela and she’s presenting the EU4Ocean initiative. An ambitious project that helps us all to understand how we can fight for seas and oceans.

Last update: 09/09/20

Ocean Literacy resources from the H2020 ATLAS project

Atlantic Adventures with ATLAS is a portfolio of free learning resources designed to engage children and adults with the deep sea.

Last update: 18/08/20

Joining forces at the first “EU4Ocean workshop – Designing Ocean Literacy action in Europe

On 24 – 25 September 2020, the first EU4Ocean workshop– Designing Ocean Literacy action in Europe was organised by the EU4Ocean Coalition – a new initiative on ocean literacy of the European Commission.

Start date: 24/09/2020 (All day)
Last update: 10/07/20

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