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Maritime Forum
Blue Skills

Skills and career development in the blue economy

Our coasts and seas have the potential to deliver sustainable growth and jobs in the coming years and contribute towards the Green Deal objectives. This will only be possible if we invest in new, blue skills and career development.

A competitive, resilient, and socially fair blue economy needs highly qualified and skilled professionals. Yet today, many blue economy sectors have difficulties finding the right people, which hampers their growth. The European Commission is supporting actions to solve this mismatch.

European Year of Skills

Helping people get the right skills for quality jobs and helping companies address skills shortages in the EU is what the 2023 European Year of Skills is all about.


  • reduce skills gap between education offer and labour market needs
  • improve communication and cooperation between education and industry
  • improve the attractiveness and awareness of career opportunities in the blue economy
  • improve the ocean literacy culture at the basis of it all

Blue careers in Europe call for proposals

The EU supports cooperation projects between business and education through the “Blue careers in Europe” calls for proposals under the European Maritime and Fisheries (EMFF) and European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture (EMFAF) Funds. It also targets concrete actions to close the skills gap, tackle unemployment and raise the attractiveness of "blue careers" among students and young professionals.

Eight new projects kicked off in September 2023, following the fourth edition of the call for proposals on “Blue careers for a sustainable blue economy”. With a total budget of €7.5 million, the projects aim to contribute to the development of the next generation of blue skills and to provide opportunities for attractive, sustainable maritime careers.

Previous editions funded 18 projects with a total EU budget of €11 million and showed the interest for support of such skills development in the blue economy. Success stories include the NAUTILUS and BBMBC projects. 

Skills partnership for Offshore Renewable Energy

The European Commission has launched the Pact for Skills, a shared engagement model for skills development in Europe. This is the first of the flagship actions under the European Skills Agenda and is firmly anchored in the European Pillar of Social Rights.

To support a fair and resilient recovery and deliver on the ambitions of the green and digital transitions and of the EU Industrial and SME Strategies, the Commission invites public and private organisations to join forces and take concrete action to upskill and reskill people in Europe.

The Partnership for offshore renewable energy, represented by the industry, trade union, education, training and research organisations, has committed to support the qualification process for the new jobs in the sector (estimated between 20,000 and 54,000 new workers in the next five years) and contribute to improved upskilling opportunities for the current ORE workforce.


EURONEWS episode on blue skills

EMFAF Call for Proposals - Blue careers for a sustainable blue economy

Blue skills workshop from EMFF synergies and clustering contract

EMFF Datahub