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Going beyond obstacles in yachting internship and training


Monica Lazzaroni, the Head of the Europe Unit at the Province of Lucca, is dedicated to  foster cross-border cooperation between Tuscany and French regions. As part of the Italy-France Maritime Cross-Border Programme, the Province of Lucca participates in various projects such as “E-JOB” or Excellence Job on board.


The E-JOB project aims to promote job opportunities in the sea economy with particular reference to yachting – a key sector in the region. Within the project, an innovative training for professions such as chefs, stewards, captains and machinists was offered. This training programme is open to students from France and Italy attending the last year of technical and vocational institutes. These aspiring professionals are eager to hone their skills in the maritime industry.


However, as the project unfolded, the Province of Lucca encountered a challenge. Despite the specialised additional training provided, there was no official recognition at the end of the course of study. Italian and French students faced different regulatory constraints regarding diploma recognition and internship conditions. How could they address this?


The Province of Lucca sought b-solutions expertise to better understand the differences of frameworks in the two countries.


“I find the b-solutions initiative extremely useful because it allows us to identify concrete solutions to legal-administrative issues that may arise in a cooperation project and that cannot be answered within the project itself being conceived for other objectives. Often it is precisely those obstacles that prevent the project from fully achieving its objectives. Moreover the initiative allows to arise fundamental issues that may not have an immediate solution, but it helps to attract the attention of European institutions on the matter”, says Monica.


Reflecting on their participation to b-solutions, Monica shares her thoughts: “The experience was entirely positive; in the course of the expert's analysis, we were able to organise bilateral meetings with a number of different public and private actors who kindly made their knowledge about the dynamics of yachting, training, and the recognition of skills available, enabling the expert to arrive to the solutions that were then proposed to us”. 


B-solutions expert Michele Vellano proposed innovative solutions. In the short term, extending the “E-JOB” project would bolster training for new professionals in Italian and French yachting.


Looking ahead, a more permanent solution emerges: the EsaBac Techno Yachting school pathway, involving technical institutes from both sides of the border and leading to a double diploma in the yachting field. This visionary approach is inspired by the EsaBac which allows Italian and French secondary school students to obtain two diplomas from a single exam: the Italian State Exam and the French Baccalauréat.


Monica and her team quickly moved to progress on the issue with a new Interreg project: the project I-YEP, which started in January 2024 and builds on the E-JOB project. It follows recommendations of the b-solutions report including:

a) Drafting a cross-border memorandum of understanding  to launch  an approval process for the cross-border recognition of competences in the yachting sector;


b) Creating a I-YEP NETWORK which includes local stakeholders responsible for training, employment and the validation of skills acquired in the cross-border area in relation to the yachting sector.


Offering a unique training that is recognised by both French and Italian authorities will enable to create a stronger labour market in the region, and young professionals will be able to access jobs both in France and in Italy.


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