John Bostock represented the European Aquaculture Technology and Innovation Platform (EATiP) at a recent meeting of the Expert Group on Skills and Career Development in the Blue Economy. The group shared experiences from a range of projects funded under a special provision within DG Mare EMFF programme on Blue Skills. These included:
ASSESS (Advanced Skills in Safety, Environment and Security at Sea)
BBMBC (Blue Biotechnology Master for a Blue Career)
BLUE SMART (Blue Education for Sustainable Management of Aquatic Resources)
CETBC (Cooperation in Education and Training for Blue Careers)
ENTREFISH (Sustainable Entrepreneurship for stronger skills and new employment in fishery’s and aquaculture’s SMEs)
MENTOR (Blue Career Centre of Eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea)
PROCREW (Professional Crew Training for Super Yachts)
A broader range of projects and activities relevant to Blue Skills and Career Development have been collated by the Expert Group and published in three “Best Practice” documents:
The main work of the meeting was to consider and contribute to a baseline document developed by the MATES project - the Maritime Alliance for fostering the European Blue Economy through a Marine Technology Skilling Strategy. This is one of the European Commission flagship Blueprint projects for sectoral cooperation on skills which are intended to develop a coherent strategy for adoption at European, national and regional levels.
This was followed by an update from DG Employment on The Future of Work - how do global trends impact employability in the blue economy? This included insights from the high level “Future of Work” conference which took place in Brussels on the previous day, and particularly focused on strategic policy responses to high level economic and technological trends.
The meeting also received an update on ESCO (European Skills, Competences, Qualifications and Occupations) - an ongoing project to develop a comprehensive database of skills and how they are mapped to individual occupations and European qualifications.
Finally, a video link was established with the Maritime Alliance in USA to learn about their programme on Education and Workforce Development.
Further information on this theme can be found on the EC DG Mare website, together with a copy of the original blueprint for sectoral cooperation on Skills in Marine Technology - https://ec.europa.eu/maritimeaffairs/policy/skills-career-development_en