On July 4 and 5, 2022, more than 25 representatives of the SkillSea partners met in Rome for their transnational consortium meeting. More than 10 persons joined the meeting online. The meeting took place in the magnificent offices of Confitarma, the Italian Confederation of Shipowners, located in the historic city- center of Rome.
Because nearly all participants already arrived on Sunday, the meeting could take two full days which gave the partners enough time to discuss all issues that were on the agenda. Before the meeting all partners had received an extensive agenda including some home work that needed to be prepared before the meeting.
The meeting was focused on a number of elements related to the Strategy document for the Maritime transport sector that currently is under development. The Monday morning session involved a brainstorm in separate working groups concerning future scenarios for Maritime Transport. NTNU who had prepared the session, challenged the participants to use their imagination to formulate long-term scenarios for the sector including their views regarding the probability for the scenarios to occur. The results of the working groups showed much enthusiasm for the development of future scenarios and will be an important contribution to this part of the strategy document.
In the afternoon, EF organised a meeting around the subject of Recommendations from SkillSea to the EU and the different member states. Despite the fact that the session was well prepared and everyone recognised the importance of the recommendations, the discussions were animated. Besides the content of the recommendations, the definition and precise formulation of the recommendations were discussed. At the end of the afternoon session, it was concluded that project management and EF would continue preparing for the recommendations. Discussion of the recommendations will continue between the work package leaders and finally will be shared with the other partners.
Tuesday morning was focused on the presentations from 11 partners of the structure of maritime education in their country. This important subject is highly relevant for the strategy development as the description of the implementation of the strategy in the action plan cannot take place without taking notice of the way of working in each partner country. This was proven in the different presentations which showed great differences in national structures with regard to e.g. the role of the (regional and/or national) government, the culture with regard to cooperation between enterprises and education, the availability of grant programmes, etc. All though, a lot and perhaps too much information was exchanged, partners were very interested and reported having heard interesting elements in all presentations. SG Mer and the project management will use all input in their continued development of the action plan.
Because a taxi strike in Rome required participants to travel to the airport sooner than expected the last session started earlier than was indicated in the programme. SIMAC presented the latest news of the SkillSea Knowledge Hub. It was decided to change the name to Strategic Alliance in Maritime Transport. Furthermore, SIMAC very well explained the steps that had been taken since the last meeting in Brussel. It was concluded that the step-by-step approach that currently was used was much more inviting for partners and offered them more space to choose their mown level and way of participation.
In his closing statement Diedrick Jansen, general coordinator of SkillSea thanked all participants for their active contributions before and during the meeting. He was very happy that the core of the meeting concerned the content of the different SkillSea deliverables and results and mentioned that he expected the meeting will contribute to achieving the best SkillSea results. Finally, he thanked Confitarma for their hospitality and the organisation of the meeting.