Technology and digitalisation are transforming the shipping industry. ‘Smart’ ships are coming into service, creating demand for a new generation of competent, highly-skilled maritime professionals. Europe is a traditional global source of maritime expertise and the four-year SKILLSEA project is launched with the aim of ensuring that the region’s maritime professionals possess key digital, green and soft management skills for the rapidly-changing maritime labour market. It seeks to not only produce a sustainable skills strategy for European maritime professionals, but also to increase the number of these professionals – enhancing the safety and efficiency of this vital sector. The future-proofing project is developed by the industry’s social partners, the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) and is comprised of a consortium from national maritime authorities, shipping companies, shipowners’ associations, maritime trade unions and maritime education providers from 16 countries in Europe. Key aims and objectives include: Analysing the effect of technological developments on the industry’s skills requirements, An even better match between the industry’s skills needs and the education and training of maritime professionals, Overcoming barriers to the mobility of maritime professionals, Improving cooperation and synergy between education providers, maritime authorities and the industry, Ensuring that Europe retains a world-leading access to maritime skills and experience for improved competitiveness.