15 partners from 8 countries work together in the FLORES project to foster the Pact for Skills in the Offshore Renewable Energies. In this series of interviews, we'll introduce you to the excellent team that works on the FLORES project. Today is the turn of Submariner Network for Blue Growth EEIG!
- Company/Organization: Submariner Network for Blue Growth EEIG
- Interviewee: Marko Kovacevic, Project Engineer
What does your company/organization do, in which areas do you work?
The SUBMARINER Network brings together actors from the Baltic Sea Region to actively promote innovative and sustainable uses of marine resources for the dual priorities of protecting our marine ecosystems and promoting sustainable economic development.
While our roots lie in the Baltic Sea Region, the SUBMARINER Network reaches beyond its geographical base to engage in partnerships with actors that share its thematic vision across Europe, and the world.
We function as the bridge between the Baltic Sea Region and the rest of the EU. One of the connections between SUBMARINER and the ORE sector is our involvement in innovative projects related to ocean Multi-Use.
What is the role of your company/organization in the FLORES project?
SUBMARINER Network serves as a crucial link between the FLORES project and a wide range of stakeholders in the Baltic Sea Region. We will use our contacts with research institutions, public administrations, business parks and private companies to launch a Pilot Action in the Baltic Sea Region.
In addition to our primary role, we provide substantial support to our project partners by identifying skills and education gaps within the ORE sector in the Baltic Sea region. By pinpointing these gaps, we facilitate the development of targeted educational programs and training initiatives. Furthermore, we actively promote lifelong learning and careers within the ORE sector.
Additionally, we play an active role in disseminating project findings within our network. This responsibility ensures that the knowledge and insights generated by the FLORES project are shared with a wide audience of relevant stakeholders in the Baltic Sea region.
Why being part of FLORES is valuable to your company/organization?
SUBMARINER Network’s participation in the FLORES project is driven by its forward-looking approach to promoting skills in the Offshore Renewable Energies (ORE) sector. This partnership is valuable to us because it lets us actively contribute to preparing workers for the expected 20,000 to 54,000 new jobs in ORE over the next five years and improving the skill levels of the current ORE workforce. We are excited to be part of a project that actively supports the Pact for Skills in Offshore Renewable Energies sector.
Being a part of the FLORES project expanded the range of educational projects we’re involved in, specifically those related to youth and the blue economy sector.
Why do you think offshore renewable energies are important across Europe?
Offshore renewable energy is important across Europe for several reasons. Firstly, they offer an enormous potential for harnessing clean and plentiful sources of energy, such as wind, solar and tidal power, helping to reduce carbon emissions and fight climate change. Secondly, they contribute to energy security by diversifying the energy mix, reducing dependency on fossil fuels, and limiting supply disruptions.
However, it’s crucial not to forget environmental protection when developing new offshore capacities, and innovative solutions, such as multi-use concept should be incorporated into new plans to ensure synergy between energy production and environment protection efforts, supporting sustainable, responsible offshore development.
What are the main challenges we face to harness the power of our oceans?
A major challenge is a shortage of skilled workers and educational profiles specialising in offshore renewable energy sector.
It is important to train a workforce capable of designing, building, and maintaining offshore renewable energy infrastructure. When it comes to the ORE in the Baltic Sea, one of the main challenges is the harsh marine environment and the unpredictability of weather patterns.
What can we do among the different stakeholders to address those challenges?
To address the challenge of a skilled worker shortage in the offshore renewable energy sector, multiple stakeholders must cooperate together. Governments and industry leaders should invest in specialised education and training programs. Universities, research institutes, and industry should collaborate to ensure that education matches industry demands. Financial incentives and scholarships can also assist in attracting and keeping talent, encouraging people to seek careers in this essential field. This collaborative approach is key to building a skilled workforce and supporting the growth of offshore renewable energy.
How would you convince young people to go for a career or studies in the ORE sector, what’s in it for them?
Young people can be motivated to pursue careers or studies in the offshore (ORE) sector by emphasising the sector’s connection with their enthusiasm for sustainability.
By joining the ORE sector, they will have the unique opportunity to contribute to a greener, more sustainable future while also being a part of an innovative occupation with increasing job opportunities, making it a fulfilling and impactful decision for their careers and studies.