MedSkippers aims to harmonise the training and recognition of professional skippers of small commercial vessels and expand their skill set to boost the nautical charter sector.
MedSkippers aims to develop networks across the Mediterranean to improve training and recognition of professional skippers of Small Commercial Vessels (SCV) with the ultimate goal of boosting charter and nautical tourism, a mature but continuously growing sub-sector of the largest industry in most of the Mediterranean countries, and the one which delivers more direct and indirect impact than other maritime sector, has larger scope for personalisation, and is an ideal channel to attract youth towards maritime professions.
Main reasons to implement such networks are (i) the lack of international training harmonisation schemes, (ii) no international recognition of SCV Skipper's licenses, (iii) the charter industry suffers a shortage of professional skippers at peak season, (iv) there is an untapped potential for growth in mature and new destinations (south-Mediterranean), (v) related work opportunities in the charter sector continue off-season but require different complementary skills, (vi) the complementary skills training offer is available but very scattered and geographically disperse, (vii) accumulated environmental impact in the marine environment requires transversal stewardship, and (viii) market expectations, opportunities and macro-regional branding recommend modernisation and diversification, which in turn requires cooperation among all stakeholders to better tackle well identified challenges and ensure long term sustainability.
MedSkippers allocates substantial resources to build on stakeholder's opinions and knowledge in order to identify market gaps and to improve public-private cooperation and harmonisations as regards training, to foster international license recognition, trainee and professional mobility, and effective collaboration across training and nautical tourism stakeholders at sea basin level. The project also aims to update and expand core skills, defining international training programmes and modular standards, mainstreaming ocean literacy to improve environmental sustainability, and promoting complementary skills to reduce employment seasonality for skippers, improve long-term careers and enrich tourist experiences, including strategic adaptation to new niche markets.
MedSkippers will raise awareness on challenges and opportunities, and build capacity across the Mediterranean, specially in non-EU countries, to foster sectoral growth and engage youth to attractive jobs with good prospects for versatile and life-long vocational careers. In an innovative way, MedSkippers also strives to increase the visibility and core value of professional skippers (and their personal skills) as the centrepiece for charter tourism, creating a database and a competitive sales-management tool allowing for their selection and evaluation, together with destinations, boats and complementary offers. The project uptakes knowledge generated in other EU funded project and other relevant experiences and units and continues the work of a non-profit international network of sailing schools with a long tradition and strong presence in non-EU countries; a SME specialised in Blue Growth, maritime tourism and EU projects; a professional association from the world’s leading region in nautical tourism; a modern marina in NE Morocco, and two SMEs specialised in online marketing technology and marine-related education, respectively; representing the whole Mediterranean basin. The main results will thus be a cross-sectoral network guided by updated benchmarking; common and modular training standards, including core and complementary skills; a functional database and sales management tool; and pilot demonstrations of a fellowship programme for mobility, a volunteers programme for diversification, and continuous effort s for awareness raising, including workshops and webinars.