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Boost for Coastal Communities as Skills Development and Training Eligible for Funding under Brexit Blue Economy Enterprise Scheme

23rd July 2022
Salmon farming in Millstone Bay, Co Donegal
Salmon farming in Millstone Bay, Co Donegal. Aquaculture, along with fishing and tourism, is a key industry of the blue economy

The fast-changing and evolving landscape of Ireland’s post-Brexit blue economy mean the skills needed for these types of jobs in coastal communities are also changing and evolving.

Individuals already working in the blue economy who want to develop their career or those who would like start to work in the blue economy are being urged to apply for training grants of up to €10,000 available under the €25 million Brexit Blue Economy Enterprise Scheme, which is being administered by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM).

The blue economy covers a wide range of economic activities within coastal communities. In Ireland, about 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast and many communities along the Irish coast depend on blue economy industries such as tourism, fishing and aquaculture.

As well as providing funding of up to €200,000 for capital projects, the recently launched Brexit Blue Economy Enterprise Scheme also provides funding of up to €10,000 per applicant for skills development and training.

Given that many courses begin term in the autumn, BIM is calling on all interested parties to visit its website to learn more about the grants that are available for skills and development.

Brenda O’Riordan, regional officer at BIM said having the right skills and training can help businesses manage change and the growing need to be more flexible and adaptable within today’s blue economy. 

“One of the certainties for anyone working today is the need to be able to adapt to change,” she said. “For example, having digital skills is increasingly important for many seafood and other blue economy businesses, as more transactions move online. This is just one example of where an individual could really enhance their skills for the benefit of themselves and the wider coastal community.”

The Brexit Blue Economy Enterprise Scheme is an initiative of the Government of Ireland and is being administered by BIM. The aim of this new scheme is to help address economic and social impact of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union for businesses operating in the blue economy and located in communities within 10km of the coastline.

The scheme has a €25 million budget available in 2022 and 2023, funded under the EU Brexit Adjustment Reserve. For more details visit bim.ie.

Published in Coastal Notes
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Coastal Notes Coastal Notes covers a broad spectrum of stories, events and developments in which some can be quirky and local in nature, while other stories are of national importance and are on-going, but whatever they are about, they need to be told.

Stories can be diverse and they can be influential, albeit some are more subtle than others in nature, while other events can be immediately felt. No more so felt, is firstly to those living along the coastal rim and rural isolated communities. Here the impact poses is increased to those directly linked with the sea, where daily lives are made from earning an income ashore and within coastal waters.

The topics in Coastal Notes can also be about the rare finding of sea-life creatures, a historic shipwreck lost to the passage of time and which has yet many a secret to tell. A trawler's net caught hauling more than fish but cannon balls dating to the Napoleonic era.

Also focusing the attention of Coastal Notes, are the maritime museums which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of historical exhibits for future generations.

Equally to keep an eye on the present day, with activities of existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector and those of the energy exploration industry.

In addition Coastal Notes has many more angles to cover, be it the weekend boat leisure user taking a sedate cruise off a long straight beach on the coast beach and making a friend with a feathered companion along the way.

In complete contrast is to those who harvest the sea, using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety poses an issue, before they set off to ply their trade at the foot of our highest sea cliffs along the rugged wild western seaboard.

It's all there, as Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied to the environment from which they came from and indeed which shape people's interaction with the surrounding environment that is the natural world and our relationship with the sea.

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