European Commission's project will start in January 2019. The SkillSea project, will be co-financed under Erasmus+ with the aim of producing a sustainable skills strategy for the maritime sector and related activities both at sea and ashore. It is of a great importance to find the ideal future skills of maritime experts and attract a majority of Europeans and build an ideal environment for future seafarers.

The SkillSea project aims to:

  • Increase the number of European maritime experts;
  • Defeat the obstacles concerning the mobility of seafarer labour;
  • Enhance the team-spirit between education providers, competent authorities and the industry;
  • Plan tech-developments in ship operation and the effects they'll have on the industry's skills requirements.

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Moreover, SkillSea is inaugurated by a Europe-wide union powered by the industry's well-known popular partners such as ECSA along with ETF, which both in the past discussed solutions to attract women in the industry, and the Rotterdam-based STC Group. The association consists of 27 national maritime authorities, shipping companies, shipowners’ associations, maritime trade unions and maritime education providers from 16 countries in Europe.

Martin Dorsman, Secretary General of ECSA, stated:

ECSA is pleased that our application was successful and that the importance of developing a forward-looking skills strategy for our sector has been recognised... ECSA looks forward to the commencement of work on this exciting project which will contribute to the competitiveness of European seafarers and European shipping

Moving on, Eduardo Chagas, General Secretary of ETF, highlighted that Europe’s maritime sector is facing an increased digitalisation and automation. ETF hopes to a smooth transition, support high-quality employment and training for European maritime professionals, and ensure the sustainability of maritime clusters in Europe.

Renee Boelaars for STC Group addressed this project enables the development of tools to facilitate and propose educational packages based on needed skills through a collaboration between maritime education and training providers, shipping companies, social partners and national maritime authorities in order to equip students with the necessary skills as well as increasing their horizontal and vertical mobility.

Finally, SkillSea project was publicly announced at a signature ceremony hosted by the EU Transport Commissioner, Violeta Bulc, on 20 November 2018.