Content and technical concept for a EU portal
In recent times, companies in maritime industry had difficulties in filling vacant on-board positions: A talent shortage is being felt. Even though BIMCO and the International Shipping Federation (ISF) have reported in their comprehensive study 'Manpower 2010 Update' that there is currently "not a serious shortage problem for officers in aggregate", in specialized sectors such as tankers and offshore support vessels, shipping companies are experiencing serious recruitment problems. This exactly is what the International Maritime Organization (IMO) confirmed: In some areas in the world the maritime sector is facing a serious shortage of highly qualified officers. Furthermore, IMO's 'Go to Sea!' campaign launched in 2008 in cooperation with various stakeholders from maritime industry showed that "fewer young people were attracted to the seafaring profession, while young seafarers prefer to move to land based jobs" – and this trend continues. Against this background KNOWME will develop a maritime information portal which will help enhancing the attractiveness for professionals and young people both of the seafaring professions and careers onshore within the maritime sector by providing profound knowledge about modern shipping in order to win the 'war for talents'.
The concept is meant to provide a first overview about the various elements that could be included in the EU portal and about the preparatory works such as research on other existing e-portals (what could be learned from these portals) and on the information requirements of people. Picture one shows the five core modules including the responsible KNOWME partners which will be further explained within the following chapters. These elements are:
virtual handbook - examples of career paths of "real existing" persons will be shown (examples of persons who realised the transition between on-board and on-shore professions, some of people who realised a career path only on-board respectively on-shore); furthermore, the various maritime (further) education possibilities will be listed and explanations of how career development could be arranged for employees in the maritime industry will be included in this part of the EU-portal
e-learning modules – the modules developed by the KNOWME consortium will be included ('Logistics & SCM', 'Environmental Management', 'Cross-Cultural Training')
facebook of shipping – existing solutions for staying in contact will be provided (seafarersweb.net, LinkedIN, XING etc.) and the necessity of developing additional features will be verified; furthermore, something like a virtual 'job market' for maritime industry might be developed
e-maritime initiative - the complementarity and ease of integration to the EU 'emaritime' initiative (focussing on career development (revealing matching points and difficulties mentioned in the EU maritime initiative))
links – after an extensive research on already existing maritime information portals, recommendations on which portals should be connected to the EU-portal will be made; also, maritime industry's best practice regarding living conditions onboard and life-cycle career paths will be presented.
It could be expected that some elements that are suggested as possible options for the development of the EU-portal, could be implemented later on due to limitations in financial and time resources. This will be checked during the implementation phase. Above this, adaptions and changes due to new research results from other KNOWME WPs might become necessary. Hence, this concept paper could only be understood as a first line of approach depicting WP5 plans for the elaboration of the portal in the clearest way which is possible at this point of time.
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