- The EU project FLORES (Forward Looking at the Offshore Renewable Energies) hosted two events at WindEurope 2023, one of the most important international events in the wind energy calendar.
- The FLORES 15-strong consortium partners from eight EU countries met with industry stakeholders from the European Pact for Skills to analyse the key skills needed in the offshore renewable energies sector, and tackle identified gaps and shortages with common and coordinated actions.
- The 2-year project with its strong and large-scale partnership will promote the upskilling and reskilling of Europeans of all ages to boost Offshore Renewables.
The FLORES partners were proud to play an active part in the WindEurope 2023 Annual Event organised for the most relevant stakeholders from the entire wind energy value chain.
The two events organised by FLORES partnership on 26th and 27th April made real progress towards a European Skills Strategy ready to respond to the current needs of a booming sector such as Offshore Renewable Energies (ORE).
General Assembly of the Large-scale Partnership on ORE Skills
Copenhagen 2023 was the launch pad for the Large-scale Partnership for the Pact for Skills in the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORESkills LSP). During the General Assembly, FLORESpresented an overview of the ORE skills development landscape in Europe and discussed ways forward to tackle current industry needs.
Andy Kontoudakis, Policy Officer at the European Commission, highlighted the importance of promoting discussions in DG Mare’s Blue Forum as a means of promoting dialogue among all users of the sea.
Daniela Santopolo (DG GROW) emphasized the growing importance of skills development in EU policy, pointing to initiatives such as the Year of Skills in 2023 or the Net-Zero Industry Act which will establish Net-Zero Industry Academies to roll out up-skilling and re-skilling programmes in strategic industries for the green transition.
Meanwhile, the FLORES partners are working on an intensive range of activities that will feed into the four working groups of the ORESkills Large-Scale Partnership.
- Lefteris Sdoukopoulos, from CERTH-HIT, detailed the methodology by which the FLORES Skills Observatory will analyse the skills offers and industry demands to identify gaps and mismatches within the sector.
- Angela Freiría, from the Spanish industry cluster ASIME, introduced a range of activities designed to: i) improve training offers; ii) provide smooth access to existing training materials; iii) develop new specific and multilingual tools to promote Ocean Literacy, lifelong learning and awareness-raising in the sector.
- Vicente Díaz, from the university UDC,describedhow FLORES will Promote Careers in ORE, making them more attractive, especially for young people and women.
- Lucía Fraga, from the marine research centre CETMAR, closed the session by setting out the project’s goal of Building Durable Partnerships. To achieve this, FLORES is engaged in developing actions at regional level and promoting the creation of mirror groups within the large-scale partnership, in order to combine both the EU top-down approach with a regional bottom-up focus.
43 stakeholders involved in the capacity building processes for the ORE industry took part in the discussions. The concerns expressed were: the increasing need to provide skills to support the green transition coupled with an equally urgent need for professionals capable of fulfilling the high expectations in the offshore renewable energies job market
The FLORES partnership took the opportunity at WindEurope 2023 to inform the sector about the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) sector Skills Observatory, an initiative which will provide a relevant analysis of the real skills need in the sector.
During the meeting, the partners addressed the participant companies in the ORE value chain, in particular managers, industrial associations, industry experts, representatives of academia and VET centres.
Participants were invited to provide their views and feedback on the methodologies proposed by the FLORES Skills Observatory and the first results gathered so far in this skills intelligence analysis. During a lively debate, the attendees agreed as to the need to promote a systematic approach for capacity building and the attraction of talent to the sector.
Demonstrating the ORE sector’s impressive dynamism, the audience pointed up the need to review all skills intelligence results gathered by the MATES Blueprint project in 2020, which served as a basis for the ORE skills partnership.
Both above-mentioned meetings are expected to be the starting point for future and fruitful collaborations amongst the industry, the training and education providers, and all stakeholders promoting capacity building in the ORE.