Through our work we intent to create a detailed map of educational and training stakeholders (including academic courses and VET) that operate in the area of Water Sports and Tourism. This will allow us to engage with them and involve them in the process. We expect a wide range of new synergies to spring to life between these educational institutions and the industry. They can benefit from our results by adapting their curricula to be better aligned with the water sports industry. Businesses at the same time can benefit by having access to a pool of better trained and more skillful professionals to pick from. Our Mentoring & Career Guidance initiative is expected to pursuit and promote exactly these synergies.
Based on our better understanding of what is in offer and the learning needs of our target group, combined with results already being achieved in other projects and initiatives we aim not at creating better education “systems” but rather bringing together existing ones and integrating them in a more efficient approach, improve the learning experience, expand their offer with hands-on experience and create a clearer and more appealing career pathway for young professionals. With this in mind we will develop an improved Water Sports Tourism educational methodology and learning framework, new training modules where these are needed and a new online learning platform (following the MOOC principles) that will be available to all.
Our platform will be continuous education-learning tool for any subject related to blue careers in tourism, an evaluation tool for learners and an open community for both learners and training providers.
The value of professional certification is undisputable, and many industries have created their own ecosystems (IT, business/finance not the least). We believe that an accredited qualification and certification framework created and promoted by one of the biggest actors in these services (TUV Austria) will offer the necessary impartiality, reliability and recognition. Such certifications already exist in the Water Sports but none of them covers the tourism aspect that is necessary in the industry.
Finally, our approach will be tested in real life in our own businesses, within the 3 Water Sports centers that are part of the consortium. Our goal is to train and certify as many as 100 Water Sports Tourism Professionals during the implementation of the project. Most of these people are already our employees and given the seasonality of the industry they all work in other destinations (usually chasing summer seasons across the globe). They will be our initiative ambassadors and agents of change far beyond Europe. An inaugural Water Sports Tourism Academy is scheduled in Lemnos (Greece) where we will also train the advanced trainers and instructors of the courses, followed by 2 Summer Camps for Water Sports Tourism Professionals one in Turkey and one in Italy.