MENTOR is a project, implemented by a consortium of seven partners from four countries aimed at setting up a regional platform – the Blue Career Centre. This centre strives to promote the dialogue between business stakeholders, education & training institutions, research organizations, policy makers and the civic society. That would allow them to jointly develop and carry out measures to close the skills gap, tackle unemployment and make “blue careers” more attractive to young people of the Eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea regions. Besides the younger generation, another target audience of the project is the experienced workers. Both groups are aimed to be involved in key blue sectors, namely maritime transport, marine aquaculture, cruise tourism and offshore oil & gas.
One of the most important achievements of the MENTOR team was the successful establishment of the secretariat of the Blue Career Centre (BCC) of the Eastern Mediterranean & Black Sea in Cyprus, registered in January 2018. This action was consequently followed by the foundation of three BCC branches in Bulgaria, Greece and Romania at the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019.
Each subsidiary designed and set up their own organizational structure, legal statute, operational procedures, communication strategy and tools towards the target groups – school children, higher education graduates or persons with a vocational/technical qualification to maritime professions.
The career centers will provide information and guidance on the “Blue career” path that target groups are interested to follow and the respective educational and professional requirements/skills that they need to fulfill/develop. Representatives of the Centers will visit schools in order to inform directly teachers and students about the BCC initiative and the “Blue careers”. The Blue Career Centers will also organize workshops, seminars, information days and local Blue Career Fairs in cooperation with professional associations, educational and research institutions, companies and government departments whose activities fall within the Blue Economy. Members of the BCC will also offer voluntarily their time and expertise to participate in ongoing committees, special projects, or presentations at workshops and conferences, representing the BCC in those occasions and informing the participants/attendants on the objectives and activities of the BCC network.