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MATES Steering Group Meeting Thessaloniki October 16-17th October

Revision of next steps: coordination of activities for WPs 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9.

There were detailed presentations for each WP: a full report can be accessed in the MATES Intranet.

However, a new feature of this SG meeting was the organisation of Hands-on sessions to extend the range and impact of the 11 Pilot Experiences (see 2nd post to see how this was tackled ).

The Pilot Experiences aim to tackle skill shortages in the shipbuilding and offshore marine renewable industries – two sectors of many which are experiencing both opportunities and challenges with the drive towards a greener, knowledge-driven economy.

MATES is tackling these challenges head-on, building on the premise of partnership – or a Sectoral Skills Alliance – between industry and academia. Treated within such a structure, addressing skill gaps becomes a collaborative process. With a specific focus on shipbuilding and offshore marine renewable energy, MATES partners have been engaging with stakeholders over the past twenty months. This culmination of efforts has resulted in the publication of the MATES Strategy Baseline Report which has identified key paradigm shifters for both industries. It is these paradigm shifters which form the basis of the design of the MATES Pilot Experiences.

While some of the Pilot Experiences aim to increase the quality and relevance of curricula to better align education and training with industry needs, others will provide real-life work experience through staff and student exchanges between industry and academia. One Pilot Experience will strategically input new skills into ESCO (the European online classification of Skills, Competences, Qualifications and Occupations) which is part of the Europe 2020 Strategy.

According to MATES partner Margaret Eleftheriou, who took part in the Europe 2020 Initiative ESCO and the EU Expert Group on Skills and Career Development in the Blue Economy, “ESCO is a tool that provides a common language for the labour market, the education and training sector, and jobseekers, allowing for and leading to better understanding, transparency and labour market mobility. MATES contribution to ESCO will ensure that the new emerging occupational profiles in the shipbuilding and offshore marine renewable energy will be transferred to the wider ESCO community assuring extended impact.”

Andy Kontoudakis, EC Policy Officer for DG MARE, also in attendance at the MATES meeting, emphasised the importance of linking with ESCO, “By revising and updating occupational profiles, through ESCO, Sectoral Skills Alliances will improve Vocational and Educational Training. This grounding in ESCO is one of the key requirements to ensure the success of a Blueprint project.”


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