MATES - Maritime Alliance for fostering the European Blue Economy through a Marine Technology Skilling Strategy

MATES developed a skills strategy for the maritime technologies, in particular the shipbuilding and the offshore renewable energies.

MATES undertook a collaborative approach to better align educational opportunities and labour market needs in all European sea basins, increasing the attractiveness of maritime careers. Furthermore, the project aimed at widening perceptions of Ocean Literacy initiatives with an industrial perspective.


January 2018 – April 2022


Maritime industry, in particular shipbuilding (NACE CODE 30.11) and offshore renewable energy (NACE CODE 35.11)

Spain, Belgium, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, United Kingdom
Scope of the project

The MATES project made a joint approach to a traditional sector (shipbuilding) with an emergent and linked sector (offshore renewable energy). Its main objective was to develop a Skills Strategy for the maritime technologies as a whole, considering the driving factors that would remodel the capacity needs in the coming years.

The MATES project adopted a multi-disciplinary, cross-sector and multiple-actor perspective as an essential aspect to encompass changing skills, employment, growth and sustainability. The results of the project were based on the exchange of knowledge and best practices, obtained through the insights of 231 external experts from different backgrounds (industry, academic institutions, VET, public administrations) and 22 countries from Europe and beyond. MATES has been presented at more than 75 external events attended by more than 8690 people and mobilised more than 1,600 participants at 54 MATES workshops and events.

  • develop a Skills Strategy that addresses the main drivers of change in the maritime industry, in particular shipbuilding and offshore renewable energy. To this end, the objective of MATES was to offer skills intelligence to close the relevant skill gaps;
  • test the launch of the strategy in regional contexts through 11 Pilot Experiences;
  • increase the attractiveness of maritime careers through awareness raising; and
  • widen perceptions of Ocean Literacy initiatives with an industrial perspective.
Short description

MATES has undertaken a collaborative approach to better align educational opportunities and labour market needs in all European sea basins, to increase the attractiveness of maritime careers.

To this end, a European network of experts was created to enhance innovation ecosystems relevant to maritime technologies with upgraded skills. Over 200 stakeholders from industry, academia and research provided their views and insights that enriched the maritime technologies strategy-building process. Read more at https://www.projectmates.eu/

Key findings

MATES has carried out a number of initiatives to help bridge the skills gaps in the maritime industry with a focus on the Shipbuilding and Offshore Renewable Energy sectors. The key findings and results are listed below:

  • MATES created a European network of experts relevant to maritime technologies, with over 200 stakeholders from industry, academia and research. Their views and insights contributed to enrich the strategy building process, enhancing innovation ecosystems.
  • A detailed skills analysis was provided as a basis for greater alignment of education/training opportunities and the labour market: more than 900 training offers were mapped and skill needs and gaps were analysed together with future trends and their impact on capacities’ needs. As a result, a set of Lines of Action was prioritised.
  • 11 Pilot Experiences were developed (and modified or adapted to the COVID19 pandemic), to launch the Lines of Action in regional contexts. These experiences led to the development of curricula and training materials (EQF levels 3 to 8), training platforms and tools, methodologies for and contribution to European standardisation of sectoral occupations and definition of skills. Details of the PEs are available on the expanded MATES website as well as on the Erasmus MATES YouTube channel, which hosts 37 short video clips (in several languages).
  • A comprehensive set of recommendations to implement the MATES Maritime Technologies Skills Strategy.
  • The MATES Sustainability and long-term Action Plan provides a blueprint for coordinated activity of all stakeholder groups: policy makers, social partners, standardisation bodies, education and training providers, and employers.

Mates beneficiaries