Skills for the Future Maritime Technology
The members of the Intergroup had the pleasure to host the final conference of the EU – funded project lead by SEA Europe & IndustriALL Europe “Creating a European Skills Council for the Maritime Technology Sector”. This Intergroup event was held on the 1st of March at the European Parliament, the main focus being on the persevering shortage of skilled workers in the maritime labour market. It was to our great joy to welcome a total of approximately 80 participants, which shows that indeed this is a highly important topic on the maritime agenda with a variety of stakeholders involved. Accordingly, several representatives from the Industry and Trade Unions, as well as Italian, Polish and German Members of the Parliament and the Director-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the European Commission Ms Lowri Evans were present and discussed both technological and financial future challenges in the construction and equipment of ships.
Background of the conference is that the European maritime sector has developed highly innovative and specialised technologies in recent years. These major technological advancements naturally resulted in a high demand for a specially trained workforce. With regards to this, in the cruise line sector for instance, European manufacturers are market leaders as international competitors lack the know-how for the complex equipment of these types of ships. Nevertheless, low oil prices incentivise other nations to jump on the bandwagon, further stressing the importance to maintain competitive and ensure an ongoing high level of innovation in the European shipbuilding sector. This can only be achieved through joint efforts, disregarding possible intra-European competition or conflicting interests between industry and unions. This conference therefore was a great success, as it allowed for open dialogue and exchange of ideas, working out possibilities that the future may withhold. We would like to thank all participants and it is with great enthusiasm that we look forward to hosting more related events in the future.