The European Project FLORES kicks off to boost skills in the offshore renewable energy sector
This week, 15 partners across 8 countries in Europe joined the kick-off meeting of a new and promising EU-funded project for the Offshore Renewable Energies sector. Forward Looking at the Offshore Renewables (FLORES) focuses on the spread of skills through dedicated training offers, promotion of careers in the sector, a Skills Observatory, and the promotion of sustainable partnerships to ensure the long-term success of this initiative.
The Offshore Renewable Energies (ORE) sector today accounts for around 80,000 jobs and is expected to generate up to 54,000 new vacancies in the next 5 years across Europe. As in many other industries, we have a significant challenge to meet the increasing demand for qualified professionals with the actual skills of our population. That is where the FLORES project expects to make a difference.
“We must ensure that the training opportunities offered across Europe actually match the current and upcoming needs of the sector. To that end, we will monitor the situation through a dedicated skills observatory. At the same time, we plan to develop training materials for all ages and promote the benefits of stable and well-remunerated careers in this sector to attract the youth and workers from other sectors. These efforts are coupled with regional pilot actions that aim to adapt training materials to the needs of Europe’s sea basins in the Atlantic, the Baltic and the Mediterranean, while laying the foundation for future similar groups all across Europe in a strong large-scale partnership on ORE skills embedded within the European Pact for Skills”, concludes the project coordinator.
To accomplish this ambitious task, 15 organizations across 8 countries in Europe have teamed up: from Spain, CETMAR, Asime and University of Coruña; from Greece, the Centre for Research and Technology Hellas CERTH; from Belgium, Windeurope, University of Gent, IndustriAll European Trade Union and the European Marine Board ; from Ireland, Aqualex Multimedia Consortium; from the Netherlands Deftiq and Bluespring; from Germany, the Submariner Network for Blue Growth; from France, the Lycée Fulgence Bienvenüe and the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions; and from Italy mareFVG, the Maritime Technology Cluster.
The most committed stakeholders in the ORE sector have thus embarked on this project that is supported with 700,000€ funding from Erasmus+ through the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). The project is embedded into the actions to promote a European Green Deal, by boosting a just transition and clean energy sources.
- Large-Scale Partnership: the core objective will be the promotion of a long-lasting partnership across Europe that will promote ORE skills within the European Pact for Skills. Pilot actions at regional level will be developed to adapt the training materials and needs to the reality of Europe’s different sea basins, namely the Atlantic, the Baltic and the Mediterranean, extending that knowledge to the rest of Europe through the large-scale partnership.
- Stimulation of dedicated training offers: the project will undertake to stimulate the necessary re-skilling and upskilling processes with innovative approaches to lifelong learning. The project will provide support to existing ORE training offers, ease smooth access to existing training materials, and develop new specific and multilingual tools promoting Ocean Literacy, lifelong learning and awareness raising in the sector.
- Skills intelligence: to project will work to identify and prioritise the most relevant actions in the capacity-building process, covering not only the rapid and complex changes occurring in this industrial ecosystem but also capable of forecasting those changes yet to occur, especially regarding new and emerging technologies.
- Careers: building on industry insights, the project will work to update occupational profiles in the offshore renewable energy value chain, contributing to the continuous updating of the European Skills, Competences, Qualifications and Occupations (ESCO) database. Materials will be developed to promote career and job opportunities in the European ORE sector, making those more attractive, especially for young people and women.
The FLORES project created the European portal oreskills.eu to promote its objectives, training materials, the Skills Observatory and ORE skills knowledge hub where all interested stakeholders are invited to participate.