Thirty participants from industry, trade unions, education providers and public authorities from eight countries participated in the discussions in Finland and visited the Meyer Turku shipyard and its shipbuilding school.

The project, which was initiated by the European Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for Shipbuilding of which industriAll Europe is a member, aims to support industry and workers in adapting to industry 4.0 technologies. It brings together industry, workers’ representatives and education providers to analyse the impact of technological change in existing occupations and to anticipate future skills needs.

In order to carry out this project the European sectoral social partners, SEA Europe (Shipyards’ & Maritime Equipment Association of Europe) and industriAll Europe have teamed up with TKNIKA (centre for innovation on VET) and Turku University of Applied Sciences.

One objective of the project is to  identify skills gaps and anticipate the future skills needs arising from the impact of new technologies in the so-called “Industry / Shipyard 4.0”, but the project also aims to find ways to bridge the skills gap at European level by improving workers’ mobility across Europe. The eventual aim is to aid in the creation of further joint design of educational programmes providing solutions for industry-led demand for skills and competences.

industriAll Europe Deputy General Secretary Luis Colunga said: 

“Trade unions continue to demand strong social dialogue when it comes to changes in the workplace. Industry 4.0, and the new technologies and processes that this entails, will provide both challenges and opportunities in the shipbuilding sector. Employers must work with trade unions in anticipating change to make sure that the workforce has the right skills and that no workers are left behind. We continue to call for upskilling and retraining in the sector and this project will help us to plan for the future to ensure that European has a highly skilled workforce in order to produce the best vessels.”