Illustration (Courtesy of FLORES Project)

EU project FLORES kicks off to boost skills in offshore renewables sector

EU-backed Forward Looking at the Offshore Renewables (FLORES) project has been officially launched to develop tools and activities to foster the development of skills in the offshore renewable energy sector.

Illustration (Courtesy of FLORES Project)
Illustration (Courtesy of FLORES Project)
Illustration (Courtesy of FLORES Project)

Earlier this week, 15 partners across eight countries in Europe joined the kick-off meeting of a new and promising EU-funded project for the offshore renewable energies (ORE) sector dubbed FLORES.

FLORES project will focus on the spread of skills through dedicated training offers, promotion of careers in the sector, a Skills Observatory, and the promotion of sustainable partnerships to ensure the long-term success of this initiative.

The most committed stakeholders in the ORE sector have embarked on this project that is supported with €700,000 funding from Erasmus+ through the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA).

The two-year project is embedded into the actions to promote a European Green Deal, by boosting a just transition and clean energy sources, and feeds into the European Pact for Skills, promoting a strong and large-scale partnership to promote upskilling and reskilling of Europeans from all ages to boost offshore renewables.

Two Dutch companies, Bluespring and Deftiq, will contribute their experience on developing training for the sector, along other partners including Windeurope, CETMAR, and the European Marine Board, among others.

“The ORE sector today accounts for around 80,000 jobs and is expected to generate up to 54,000 new vacancies in the next five years across Europe. As in many other industries, we have a significant challenge to meet the increasing demand for qualified professionals with the actual skills of our population. That is where the FLORES project expects to make a difference,” said Peter Scheijgrond, CEO of Bluespring, an ocean renewable consultancy and project agency tasked with the delivery of innovative offshore renewables projects.

Building on industry insights, the project will also work to update occupational profiles in the ORE value chain, contributing to the continuous updating of the European Skills, Competences, Qualifications and Occupations (ESCO) database.

Materials will be developed to promote career and job opportunities in the European ORE sector, making those more attractive, especially for young people and women.

Lucía Fraga of CETMAR, project coordinator for FLORES, said: “We must ensure that the training opportunities offered across Europe actually match the current and upcoming needs of the sector. To that end, we will monitor the situation through a dedicated skills observatory.

“At the same time, we plan to develop training materials for all ages and promote the benefits of stable and well-remunerated careers in this sector to attract the youth and workers from other sectors.

“These efforts are coupled with regional pilot actions that aim to adapt training materials to the needs of Europe’s sea basins in the Atlantic, the Baltic and the Mediterranean, while laying the foundation for future similar groups all across Europe in a strong large-scale partnership on ORE skills embedded within the European Pact for Skills.”

The FLORES project created a dedicated European portal to promote its objectives, training materials, the Skills Observatory and ORE skills knowledge hub where all interested stakeholders are invited to participate.

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