Currently, there are 2 million job vacancies in the labour market that cannot be filled. A number that is unexpected considering that youth unemployment rates amount to an average of 23% Europe-wide (in Greece and Spain youth unemployment reaches more than 50%).
How can we reverse this trend? We need to radically rethink on how education and training systems can deliver the skills needed by the labour market and how the labour market can best absorb them.
In the maritime sector, we are trying to bridge the gap between education and the labour market by developing maritime clusters which group together larger industries, smaller suppliers and educational establishments.
Aquaculture is one of many sectors that are in need of skilled labour. In this sector, it is necessary to fill the gap in finding skilled labour to fully exploit the potential for growth. Europe’s current market share in the aquaculture sector reaches 10%. For every percentage point we gain on top of this, it can be translated in at least 2000 full time jobs in both coastal and rural areas.
Additionally, last month the European Parliament also recognised the importance of helping young fishermen to enter and to keep working in the fishing sector. In its report of 22 November on small-scale coastal fishing it calls for funding under the EMFF to promote young people’s increased involvement in the sector, for example, through start-up packages facilitating the entry to a new generation of fishermen into small-scale fisheries.
As society and economy are changing faster than ever before to adapt to an unprecedented crisis, well-built foundations need to be in place to avoid creating a ‘lost generation’. Through Blue Growth we want to give the signal to younger generations that austerity alone cannot be the solution for this crisis and contribute to overcoming the defining challenge Europe has to face today: youth unemployment.