Press Release | December 10, 2021

Regional Funds Week, Blue Generation Project

Blue Generation Project has participated in the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment Regional Funds Week organized by Ecorys.

The project hosted a roundtable on 9th December 2021 about Employment & Training opportunities in Blue Economy, with Marianna Terzidaki, Project Coordinator, Militos Consulting S.A as moderator, and speakers: Silja Teege, Managing Director, Beneficiary Partner Sea Teach, Dr. Euthalia Arvaniti, Marine Biologist, Expert partner Submariner, Philip Easthill, General Secretary, Expert Partner European Boating Industry and Dr. Ioannis Papageorgiou, Communication Manager Youth Share Project.

Some of the points highlighted by the speakers:

Dr. Ioannis Papageorgiou referred to the challenges that NEETs face in finding employment, focusing on the lack of work experience and the inverted skills gap that prevails in Southern European countries such as Greece and Cyprus, where the job market especially in Peripheral Island and coastal regions, requires skills lower than those of the unemployed youth. He identified the change of economic paradigm at regional level as a means to change this and bridge the skills gap.

Philip Easthill presented briefly the recreational Boating sector that consists mostly of SMEs. He gave an optimistic view for growth in the coming years, due to new trends accelerated by the pandemic, which have led to an increasing interest in outdoor activities. He stressed that almost all sectors in this industry are short of employees, from boatyards to marinas and charter companies.

Dr. Euthalia, Arvaniti mentioned that marine biotechnology is the most innovative sector and offers a diverse employment environment, both for people who enjoy working outdoors with living organisms but also for researchers who work in the lab. There is high demand for executives from the business sector with knowledge of biology, who will be able to run the plethora of start-ups emerging in this sector.

Silja Teege described the aim of the Blue Generation Project, which is to promote the Blue Economy to NEETS and young people who are at risk of becoming NEETs and inspire them to pursue a career in this sector. She mentioned the tools that Blue Generation Project has created, i.e. the Blue Career Guide, the Blue Careers Job Platform, the MOOC training platform, and virtual 360° tours at organizations in Blue Economy. She referred also to the Blueprint Guide, which will be launched at Blue Generation Project’s International Conference in 2022. She highlighted as a challenge, that Blue Economy is often overlooked as a sector of opportunities and many teachers, headmasters, mentors, or employment officers need to change their mindset and promote it to youth. Concluding she shared her experience from Blue Generation project implementation so far, which has shown that offering short hands-on training courses attracts NEETs and can support them in entering the Blue Economy job market.