Tackling the key issue of employment in the Mediterranean, the shipping and boating sector enhances its strengths through a Franco-Italian collaboration fostered by Project Serena

'Greater opportunities for employment and expertise in the shipping and boating sector’: these are the specified objectives of the acronym, known as Project Serena, a collaboration between France and Italy.

Additional tools

Print  
Project Serena, a Franco-Italian collaboration, boosts the shipping and boating sector and highlights  key expertise pinpointed for the future.© La Spezia Province photographic archive Project Serena, a Franco-Italian collaboration, boosts the shipping and boating sector and highlights key expertise pinpointed for the future.© La Spezia Province photographic archive

" Serena is a project that has concentrated on three sectors – shipping and boating, employment services and vocational training – and has sought to improve the links between these in order to boost employment. The project’s cross-border aspect has made it possible to place the sea back at the centre of local thinking and developmental strategies in the north Tyrrhenian regions that are members of the Italy – Maritime France Programme. "

Olivia Zocco, coordinator of Project Serena, official for EU policies in La Spezia province

Project Serena aims to strengthen cooperation in the shipping and boating sector in the Upper Tyrrhenian area (Tuscany, Sardinia, Liguria and Corsica) and to increase drawing power to the area. Building on the complementary expertise of these four regions, it promotes cross-border mobility and the creation of specialist jobs.

The project evolved in three stages: analysis of the sector, agreement on a shared methodology for vocational training and the employment market, as well as the creation of joint tools in these spheres.

The cross-border shipping and boating map

The analysis enabled the drawing up of a ‘border area shipping and boating map’ showing the different aspects of the sector (boat design and construction, navigation, recreational boating), as well as an identification of  development trends along with the expertise and skills required by businesses and certain key professions in each of these regions.

This assessment led to the design of three tools to improve jobs and training: a joint directory of jobs in the maritime sector, the drafting of training standards and vocational guidance software to optimise the balance between supply and demand in employment.

In addition, various information tools designed for young people along with awareness-raising and communication activities have increased the visibility of this multi-faceted sector. Project Serena has highlighted the key areas of expertise needed for the future, such as technological innovation (the implementation of home automation for small crafts), the green economy (low-emissions engines) and marketing with a more international focus.

A joint methodology

The partners have developed a joint working methodology for employment and vocational training services. They have published a ‘joint directory of maritime professions’ and ‘training standards’ that encourage mobility and employment. Phase two of the project aims to develop two cross-border networks offering specialised information counters and technical skills centres relating to the key segments of the shipping and boating sector in the Upper Tyrrhenian area.


Total investment and EU funding

The total investment in Project Serena is EUR 1 500 000. The contribution from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is EUR 1 125 000 for the 2007-2013 period, as part of the Italy – Maritime France cross-border operational programme.


Draft date

12/12/2014