On 9 April in Brussel, future perspectives for European training policies were presented by Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of the euro and social dialogue, and Marianne Thyssen, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, on the occasion of the conference “ The future of work”.

The conference dealt with the major trends affecting the long-term evolution of work in Europe and the world. These include digitalisation, globalisation, migration, climate change and demographic change.

The exchanges also focused on the European Union’s role in responding to these trends, based on the 20 priorities of the European Pillar of Social Rights, grouped into three sections: “Equal opportunities and access to the labour market”; “Fair working conditions”; “Social protection and social inclusion”.

Commissioner Marianne Thyssen recalled that the first priority of the European Pillar of Social Rights, within its “Equal Opportunities and Access to the Labour Market” strand, is education, training and lifelong learning, especially through the European Skills Agenda.

Through this, the European Union contributes to improving education and training policies in the Member States. The actions that this agenda entails are horizontal for the most part, but include two projects that specifically address the issues of education and training in the maritime field.

These are the “MATES” project in the field of maritime industries, and the project “Futureproof Skills for the Maritime Transport Sector“. Their aim is to develop analyses to understand how the long-term challenges in terms of education and training identified at European level are manifested in these sectors, and to propose technical and political initiatives that can inspire new European initiatives, notably via the Erasmus + programme.

So far, the MATES project has put forward some initial analyses and proposals for pilot actions to the European Commission. These actions include the organisation of a Summer University in the Azores, as well as improving EU support in the field of “green” maritime technologies for exchanges between students, teachers and companies at local, national and transnational level.

The key messages of the conference “The future of work” and the intermediate results of the MATES project were discussed by the Expert Group on Maritime Sector Skills which met in Brussels on 10 April. The CPMR is a member of the group to which it has presented the recommendations of the BBMBC project, which involved the CPMR’s Atlantic Arc Commission as a partner.

The MATES project is now completing further work. The CPMR will contribute to the future stages of its reflections, which correspond to the same guidelines it supports itself. The CPMR will contribute on the basis of its experience developed through the Vasco da Gama initiative.