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Oceans and fisheries

Skills and career development

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.


  • 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 funds projects that bring together businesses and educational institutions through the "Blue careers in Europe" program. This initiative aims to address skills gaps, reduce unemployment, and make careers in the maritime industry more appealing to young people.

In September 2023, eight new projects started under the fourth round of funding for "Blue careers for a sustainable blue economy." These projects, with a budget of €7.5 million, focus on developing skills for the maritime sector and creating opportunities for attractive, sustainable maritime careers.

Previous rounds of funding supported 18 projects with a total EU budget of €11 million, demonstrating the strong interest in developing skills for the blue economy. Successful projects include NAUTILUS and BBMBC.

Skills partnership for offshore renewable energy

The European Commission has launched the Pact for Skills to promote skills development in Europe. This initiative is part of the European Skills Agenda and is based on the European Pillar of Social Rights.

To support a fair and strong recovery and meet the goals of the green and digital transitions, the Commission is calling on both public and private organisations to work together to train and educate people in Europe.

The Partnership for offshore renewable energy, made up of industry, trade unions, education, training, and research organisations, has pledged to help train workers for new jobs in the sector and enhance training opportunities for current workers in offshore renewable energy. This will help meet the growing demand for skilled workers in the industry.

Ocean literacy

The ocean is vital for humans, providing food, oxygen, and energy. It is also home to many species and helps regulate the climate. Understanding our impact on the ocean and its impact on us is important for ocean literacy. This knowledge helps us make responsible choices to protect the ocean and use its resources sustainably.

The European Ocean Literacy Coalition (EU4Ocean) connects organisations, projects, and individuals working towards ocean literacy and sustainable ocean management. Supported by the European Commission, this initiative aims to unite Europeans in caring for the ocean.

EU4Ocean focuses on activities in different regions such as the Arctic, Atlantic, Baltic, Black Sea, Mediterranean, and global oceans. It includes

The European Atlas of the Seas is an educational tool for learning about Europe's seas, coasts, human activities, and policies. It aims to raise awareness of Europe's oceans in the context of the EU's maritime policy.

Hack4Oceans is an event for youth to develop ideas for sustainable use of the marine environment and resources. It encourages young people to explore opportunities for ocean conservation and sustainable use of marine resources.