Cultivating Green Skills in Maritime Sector


The maritime sector is strategically important for the EU, as it directly employs over 640,000 workers at sea and onshore and it supports over 1.4 million workers through indirect employment, with a total share of EUR 147 billion in the European Union’s GDP.  The shipping industry could achieve even greater results, by responding to the European Green Deal which aspires to fight climate change and environmental degradation by turning Europe into a climate-neutral region by 2050. Overall, the maritime industry walks on its complete decarbonization and sustainable operation, constantly evolving and striving for increased innovation, not only with regard to the applied technologies but its human resources as well.

Within this context, UpSailing Project aims to introduce a holistic methodology which will bridge VET Education and Maritime/Shipping Industry, promote a green certification system and contribute to the respective policy dialogue with lessons learnt and good practices that will be developed throughout the project, starting from the participating countries (Italy – Greece – Malta – Portugal) and then expanding it to other European countries.

Objectives of the project

Project objectives are the basic pillars of the project, and they remain the same throughout the project. They provide a common overview of the importance of collaborating in view of a common scope. Having agreed on a set of objectives, partners will make a commitment to perform specific actions that will enable the project outputs and deliverables to be achieved.  

The project objectives include: 

  1. The provision of concrete, though customized, training materials which will respond to the learning needs of diversified target groups, keeping them updated on the latest trends and technological advancements in green maritime/shipping practices. 
  2. The encouragement of VET institutions to introduce a Curriculum on green skills in complementarity or in replacement of their outdated courses.  
  3. The support to Maritime VET Teachers/Trainers/Staff in order to update their skillset and transfer their knowledge to Maritime VET students.  
  4. The offer of upskilling/reskilling opportunities to current employees who may have not the time or the resources to attend sector-specific and expensive training seminars.  
  5. The support to shipowners/shipping companies by addressing the lack of required green skillsets among current and future employees.  
  6. The offer of a simple, practical, and accessible certification system to shipowners/shipping firms towards the green transformation of the sector. 
  7. The introduction of a bottom-up approach in decision-making by strengthening policy dialogue on maritime green transformation with the participation of shipowners/shipping firms. 

Expected Main Results

  • Design of an innovative, online training program offered through E.Rs, which will cover the particular learning needs of three different target groups; (a) VET Institutes, (b) current employees, and (c) shipowners
  • An online training platform accessible from end-users all around Europe and from different media (PC, mobile phone, etc)
  • An online Green Label Registry for shipowners who apply green technologies in their vessels/companies, supported by a self-assessment questionnaire
  • A comprehensive set of Recommendations, drawing from the project’s experience and lessons learned will hopefully foster policy dialogue on the green transformation of the shipping/maritime industry
  • At least 40 VET teachers/trainers/staff will access the developed materials and 22 of them will take part in the JSTA.
  • More than 500 learners will benefit from the project, either directly (coming from the participating VET Providers) or indirectly (through the partners’ network and dissemination activities) resulting in the full use of the developed scheme.
  • More than 20 shipping and maritime companies will consider registering with the Green Label Registry and accept our newly developed scheme during operation B

Project Activities

  1. Preparation of Up-Sailing Curriculum (from month 1 to month 5). One of the main results of the project is the introduction of a new, innovative Curriculum for the development of Green Skills in the Maritime Sector, after an analysis of the current status quo and the development of a Green Skills Chart. 
  2. Open Educational Resources for Upskilling Employees in the Maritime Sector (from month 6 to month 15). It will entail the development of training materials under a three-dimensional approach which targets the needs of 3 different groups: VET institutions, current employees and shipowners. In connection with this P.R., the partnership will deliver a Joint Staff Training Activity which will take place in IMAT’s headquarters in Italy. 
  3. Development and introduction of a Green Label Registry (from month 9 to month 19). It will engage stakeholders and associates of the industry, who will realize the significance of adopting greener policies in navigation and will raise their commitment to taking up concrete actions towards this direction. 
  4. Policy Recommendations (from month 20 to month 24). It will be the outcome of cluster meetings/workshops with shipowners’ participation and policy debates and will promote good practices and lessons learnt throughout the project, requesting more actions towards environmental protection. 

 Funding Programme: Erasmus+ KA2 – Strategic Partnership in VET

Duration: 02/2022 – 02/2024, 24 months

Budget: 296.428,00 €

Countries: Germany, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal

Project Number: 2021-1-IT01-KA220-VET-000034700

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