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Schermata 2020 12 01 alle 12.48.44
Special attention for SkillSea this morning during a national virtual event organized by "Federazione del mare", the Italian maritime cluster. Fabrizio Monticelli, Director of  (SkillSea's Italian partner), has presented SkillSea in his speech, focusing on the structure and the key objectives of the project.
The participation to the event has been an important occasion to raise awareness, at the presence of important maritime stakeholders and competent authorities, on the importance of SkillSea project in the framework of a continuously changing maritime labour market.
"Federazione del Mare" was founded in 1994 and today brings together a large part of the italian maritime organizations (among which CONFITARMA the Italian Shipowners Association, member of SkillSea Advisory Board), with the purpose of representing the italian maritime community highlighting its shared values, culture and interests in the sector, which also arise from continous international activities.


Lidia Rossi and Mariachiara Sormani from our partner ForMare, the Italian maritime academy, did a great job to get the SkillSea project on the agenda of the Naples Shipping Week conference, the Festival della Diplomazia in Rome and the Business2Sea event in Portugal. Lidia and Mariachiara explained their role in our recent (internal) newsletter.

Ladies, tell us about your drive to get the SkillSea project on the agenda’s of international maritime events.

Lidia (left on photo): “Thank you for your question. We are indeed strongly committed not only in participating to existing events but also in organizing dedicated slots to present the SkillSea project at national, EU and international level. We are doing our best in order to do so, since we do believe on the need to raise awareness and spread the word on the importance of the project and its development.”

Mariachiara: “This year has been really challenging since the Covid-19 pandemic has had an impacta lso on our planned participation to events. But luckily after the initial confusing months we understood that we could convert the challenge into an opportunity to organize and join more events than those planned, via remote participation. We are all putting a lot of effort in the project and we believe it is worth spreading the news!”

Was it difficult to interest the event organizers for SkillSeaor were they familiar with the project?

Lidia: “Luckily, all the organizers that we have contacted so far were interested in our participation. I wouldn’t say that we had many difficulties in making them familiar with the project. Also, digitalization and environmental changes are the challenges of the future so this is a ‘trending topic’ for the sector.”

Mariachiara: “SkillSea is indeed an interesting project with many relevant partners. The organizers of the events are interested to know more about it.”

Did you get any feedback?

Mariachiara: “Absolutely! We always receive compliments by the audience when showcasing the project’s activities. People are interested and want to learn more about the development of the project and we can’t wait to let them know.”

Lidia: “We received positive feedbacks and reactions after all the events we have joined. This is a positive note. It means that we are managing to raise awareness and curiosity on our activities.”

Any tips for other SkillSea partnerswho want to bring the project to the attention of event organizers?

Lidia: “All the events that you consider relevant for the project are more than welcome. Each occasion can count.”

Mariachiara: “We aremore than happy if you could all help us mapping the national, EU and international events.”

SkillSea now has its own Advisory Board - counting 13 members with different backgroundsand from different countries. The role of the Advisory Board is to advise theconsortium as well as individual workpackage leaders regarding the projectcontent and overall progress. 

The board has met for the first time (online). Thirteen persons had accepted the invitation to join thisboard. It is a mixed group consisting of,among others, professors, former captains,ship-owners and policy makers. After a short introduction, the board was informed about the background of SkillSea on the basis of a presentation by Penny Serveta of the European Shipowners CommunityAssociation (ESCA), one of the socialpartners who initiated the SkillSea project in 2017. Thereafter STC’s Job de Groen gave a brief update on SkillSea. Project coordinator Diedrick Jansen then explained to the members of the advisory board their role and theway in which they are informed.

SkillSea is proud to be part of Business2Sea, an international event dedicated to facilitate interaction among people and organizations and to promote projects and businesses within the marine economy. On Monday November 16 SkillSea is part of the virtual conference session 'Towards a pact for skills in the maritime industry'

Business2Sea is an event organized by Fórum Oceano, one of the driving forces of the Portuguese maritime cluster, togehter with Spanish Cetmar foundation, that works to improve the marine environment, its resources and all the sectors involved.

The conference session will present how skill requirements in the blue economy will likely change in the future as a result of emerging trends such as digitalisation, the rising demand for more sustainable practices and the adoption of new technologies.

Framing the session, the Pact for skills of the European Skills Agenda will be presented as a new engagement model to encompass efforts from Industry, public and private employers, social partners, education and training providers and employment agencies.

The session will also showcase the outcomes and proposals of complementary projects focusing key sectors such as shipbuilding, blue renewable energy and maritime transport. It will launch a debate on the needs for reskilling and upskilling activities to move in a timely way towards a more efficient and sustainable future.

For this event our Italian partner ForMare collaborated with the colleague's of Project MATES. Buisness2Sea is a local event for the European Vocational Skills Week #EVSW2020  

Like to join? Register here.

Post V2

Appleton David

Representing the European Transport Workers’ Federation David Appleton is keeping a close eye on education and training of seafarers. Working for Nautilus UK David was during the past months mainly occupied by the impact of Covid-19 on the maritime industry.


Covid-19 and all kind of restrictions have an impact on everybody & verything. What’s the impact on maritime education & training?

David: ‘’As you say, the Covid-19 restrictions have had a huge impact on  everybody but seafarers have been hit particularly hard. Cadets who have been  caught up in the crew change crisis have also suffered significant disruption to their training programs. Many cadets who have neared the completion of their training are finding that exams have been canceled or significantly delayed leaning that they are unable to qualify and find employment. This is before we even consider the huge number of job losses that are being experienced.

Colleges have put huge efforts into moving their teaching online and one positive of the crisis is that as we have been forced to move online. We have seen that a lot more can be effectively carried out remotely than we might have imagined previously. However, it is important to note the difference between an education program that was designed as an online only program and a physically delivered program that has been hastily adapted for remote delivery. We should also recognise that some students will be better suited to remote learning than  others.’’

Does this impact affects seamanship in general and safety at sea and on board ships in particular?

‘’The crew change crisis is certainly a safety issue. Increased fatigue and associated accidents are inevitable when seafarers have been forced to remain on board for months beyond the expiry of their contracts. In terms of the effects on training and education, I do not see this as a safety issue at present as cadets

will still be assessed to the same standards.’’

You have organized an online forum on this topic. How many people participated and what was the outcome?

‘’The difficulties experienced in arranging sea-time for cadets during the pandemic has led to a renewed interest in the possibilities for simulator

training. We recently held a forum attended by around 30 of our members to discuss the topic. Participants were enthusiastic about the possibilities that simulator training offers particularly the ability to subject candidates to

scenarios and situations that would either be unsafe or impractical in real life.

However, there was agreement that practical sea experience is absolutely vital and should be retained.’’

This project has received funding from the European Union's Erasmus+ programme under grant agreement 2018 – 3387/ 001- 001 (Project number 601186)

"The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein".

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