Maritime training and employment

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Education is one of the mainstays of the economy. The skills that are needed for all of the activities in the maritime industries take in the vast panoply of options in formal education – from the CAP (national vocational certificate) to the Doctorate – and then on to continuous education. Colleges, training centres and educational institutions, together with their associated research facilities and laboratories, give young people and professionals alike the chance to acquire essential knowledge, a fundamental element in coping with the advances taking place in technology, tools, materials and processes. These two aspects of education are inseparable from the transmission of expertise which then continues throughout a career in a company or industry. 

Nautical training starts in Primary with nautical awareness instruction. The “Teach about the sea!” operation launched by the Education Department and supported by the CMF has resulted in the introduction of numerous lessons in all school programmes from Primary to Senior Secondary. To underpin this action, in September 2013 the Maud Fontenoy Foundation, in partnership with the CMF and the CNRS, launched a 100% Océan Pack, designed as a learning guide for primary and secondary pupils and also for teachers to learn about the sea and its occupations. 

The promotion of courses about the sea and its occupations among young people affects the whole sector. Several stakeholders play an important role, for example the Institut océanographique or the IFM whose web sites give information on training courses and occupations in the maritime industries. 

So there is increasing momentum among the key maritime players, such as Campus Naval France (CNF) created in October 2012 as an umbrella organisation to coordinate the various public and private institutions involved in initial and continuous education in the naval sector. Thanks to the CNF, supported by Océans 21, new training courses are to be created to match the needs of manufacturers, aimed especially at preserving key skills from across the sector. 

Training seafarers 

To train fishermen and merchant seamen, France relies on a network of 12 vocational maritime colleges and numerous training centres, such as the École Nationale Supérieure Maritime located on four sites spread over France, and the École navale and the Centre d'Instruction Navale de Manche, Atlantique, Méditerranée for the French Navy. The maritime colleges also provide training in water-based sports and marine farming, new skills to cater for the new needs of activities at sea. 

École navale

The naval graduate college (Grande école de la mer) has trained all officers of the French Navy in Brest for 180 years. Benefiting from its perfect setting and purpose-built infrastructures, the college offers advanced theoretical and practical teaching, open to students from abroad, in three main fields of education: human sciences and military training, seamanship and training in the various branches of engineering. Depending on the course selected, the college enables students to obtain qualifications up to Masters level (bac + 5): ingénieur de l’école navale or master professionnel. 

ENSM- École Nationale Supérieure Maritime

The National Maritime College of France (ENSM) provides advanced training in maritime and paramaritime occupations and trains merchant navy officers. 

ENSM is a Nautical Institute and IMCA accredited for its DP center. 

The Training Center of ENSM in Sea Rescue, called ENSM-CESAME, in St-Malo, trains seafarers, fishermen, ocean race sailors (ISAF, International sailing federation) and young apprentices in abandoning ship, sea survival and sea rescue, in accordance with the STCW convention. Last year, ENSM registered more than 2,000 trainees. 

Lycée de la mer Paul Bousquet

The Lycée de la Mer Paul Bousquet is the most important establishment within the French maritime schools network belonging to the Ministry of Ecology. 

This comprehensive vocational centre has a unique location in Sète and is equipped with its own private harbour on the Thau Lagoon. 

Not only do we have an ideal location but we also have a range of very modern and up to date equipment for training and providing the continuous professional development necessary to update skills throughout a seafarer’s career. 

The Lycée Paul Bousquet is the only college in France to possess the complete range of equipment necessary for safety training courses such as: PST, CAEERS, CQBLI, and CQALI. (COST - SAT – PSSR – Fire Prevention and Advanced Fire Fighting - First Aid.) 

The maritime school Paul Bousquet, a unique public maritime establishment on the French Mediterranean coast, has developed a wide portfolio of training services ranging from maritime training courses in professional education (officers exclud

ed) as well as secondary school education, and operates a block release training course (school course combined with experience) of CAP Merchant Seaman and BTSA Aquaculture Production (postgraduate programs). 

DCI-NAVFCO, a naval component of Défense Conseil International, transfers the expertise of the French Navy to foreign navies through technical and operational training, instruction and assistance especially in the field of maritime security and safety (cf. page 43). 

The creation of NavOcéan, a joint venture with the Chantiers Piriou, led in September 2013 to the launch of the Almak, a training vessel for the cadets of foreign navies, undoubtedly a model of interest to other sectors for acclimatizing professionals to life at sea. 


Training for yachtsmen

Glenans sailing school

Glenans sailing school, the first of its kind in Europe, was established in 1947 in the Glenan group of islands off the coast of Brittany. For many years it has been recognised as the world leader in sailing instruction and caters for more than 15,000 students and instructors every year. Cruisers, catamarans, dinghies, wind and kite surfing and kayak, Glenans offers training courses for everyone from beginners to seasoned sailors. The courses are held at 5 sailing bases (3 in Brittany and 2 in the Mediterranean). In cruising, Glenans also holds training courses in the West Indies, Greece, Italy and Croatia. It is a charitable organisation under Law 1901 and approved by the Ministry for Sport. 

Training the professionals of the sea

Berlitz Cultural Consulting

Berlitz International, created in 1878, is one of the foremost service providers offering a range of language and intercultural training options to the public and private sectors, as well as to non-profit organizations. 

Since 2001, Berlitz International, based in Princeton, New Jersey, has been a subsidiary of the Japanese company Benesse. Our worldwide activities are divided into several departments: 

Berlitz Cultural Consulting, Berlitz Education, English Language Services (ELS), Educational Services, Berlitz Study Abroad and Berlitz Translation. 

Berlitz Consulting France is accredited and recommended for intercultural training by the Magellan Network (professional networking group for international human resources professionals). 

Centre Atlantique de Short Sea Shipping Européen

A new training programme in multimodal transport from the Atlantic Centre of European Short Sea Shipping (C.A.S.E) from November 2013 for transport and logistics professionals and shippers. 

The aim of this programme, backed by the EU’s Marco Polo Programme, is to demonstrate the economic and ecological benefits of transferring freight to alternative means of transport: rail, river and short sea shipping. 

An original, specific and dynamic programme which combines courses given by professionals on board ferries with visits to ports and rail networks. 

Courses last 1, 2, 3.5 days. 

Centre Européen de Formation Continue Maritime

The European Maritime Training Center (CEFCM) is today, with 2,500 trainees per year, the largest French organization totally dedicated to lifetime training of sailors and staff of shipping companies. The CEFCM operates on all major professional fields of maritime activities: freight and passengers, of fshore oil and marine renewable energy, fishing and shellfish, development of nautical and coastal tourism, shipbuilding and repair. 

The CEFCM consists of three training institutions based in France, specializing in three distinct areas: navigation and general training, technical training and maintenance training, security and safety. It shares qualifying training in partnership with the Brittany network of maritime schools: customized training and demand in all major French ports, on ships or in companies; national and international partnerships; a network of 150 trainers, able to respond quickly and effectively to all matters relating to the development of jobs and maritime skills. 


EUROSAE is a leading provider of shor t, professional development courses focusing on advanced technologies such as aeronautics, space science and maritime technologies. EUROSAE has been at the forefront of continuing education for professional development for over fifty years. Our programmes offer an invaluable way of keeping up-to-date with the latest technological developments and regulatory evolution. Courses are delivered by subject specialists at EUROSAE and external practitioners. Tailor-made training and development programmes can also be provided in-company. In order to keep up with the latest developments, EUROSAE offers now a whole set of trainings devoted to Cybersecurity. 

Port Revel

Inventor of the concept and recognised as a world leader, ARTELIA-Port Revel provides ship handling training for harbour pilots, captains and officers using 1/25 scale models of 11 ships and 4 tugs on a 5 ha lake equipped with a DGPS tracking system and many shallow water areas with currents. Latest additions to the fleet: a container ship of 8,500 TEU, a Q-Max gas carrier of 265,000 m3 and a cruise ship of more than 300 m. In 2014, Port Revel confirmed its DNV certification standard 3.201 - Learning Programmes - (SeaSkill™). 

Schools and universities

École de Management de Normandie - IPER

EM Normandie offers advanced higher education programmes in Le Havre, the leading frenchport for containers and a unique showcase for performing logistics and industrial development: an MSc in Supply Chain Management, an MSc in International Logistics and Crisis Management (with englishas the language of instruction), as well as an Executive MBA with a Maritime, Transport and Logistics option. As a centre of expertise for port, maritime and logistics training programmes, InstitutPortuaired’Enseignement et de Recherche (IPER), supports training schemes for professionals in the international maritime and port community by offering a portfolio of over 30 seminars in Le Havre, together with customisedprogrammes, both in France and abroad, whether in french, englishor spanish. As regards research, the Métis laboratory at EM Normandie thanks to a « Logistics – Land – Sea – Risk » research focus, specialises especially in maritime and port management, and supply chain management. 

ENSTA Bretagne 


ENSTA Bretagne, it's: 

  • more than 700 students, 
  • 85 PhD students, 
  • and almost 200 Engineers graduate each year. 

ENSTA Bretagne of Brest, a public higher education and research establishment created in 1971, is a provider of excellent training programmes and a leader in maritime research activities. The Institute trains engineers for the most innovative sectors, especially the maritime sector: offshore engineering, naval architecture, marine renewable energy, defense, and IT industries. 

Research activities: the LBMS laboratory aims to improve knowledge of the mechanical behavior (in terms of life span) of materials and structures. The IT department focuses on ocean sensing and mapping, electro-magnetic sensing and passive acoustics. 

Kedge Business School

Created in 1907, ESSEC BUSINESS SCHOOL is an Academic Institution of excellence which has always been characterized by its pioneering spirit. In both higher and executive education, ESSEC proposes a wide range of programs to all those wanting to strengthen their talent, express their leadership and become high-level managers. The internationalization of ESSEC is strengthened by the building of a new, 6,500 sqm campus in Singapore and the implementation of development projects in Africa and Latin America. 

ESSEC, aware of the tremendous growth potential of maritime sector, creates the Chair “Oceans”, with following objectives: 

  • Train young generations to develop cross disciplinary skills in order to invent tomorrow’s Ocean. 
  • Offer a space for dialogue on oceans gathering academic community, companies, NGOs and public institutions. 
  • Elaborate new training and research programs, fulfilling the needs and stakes of the chair partners. 
  • Key Figures: 
  • 3 campus in Cergy, Paris, Singapore, 
  • 4,400 students, 
  • 5,000 managers in executive education, 
  • 46,000 alumni. 

Kedge Business School 

Kedge Business School is now among the top 10 French university level management schools or ‘grandes écoles’ and the top 20 European business schools. It is a member of the few businesses schools in the world (1%) to possess triple accreditation (EQUIS, AACSB and AMBA). 

It offers 3 advanced training programmes for the maritime industry: 

  • M.Sc. in International and Logistics Maritime Management, 
  • Master of International Maritime Management, in partnership with the Merchant Marine Academy, 
  • The prestigious Kedge BS MBA with its Maritime Management Track, a degree of international calibre, ranked 5th in France and 61st among the Top 100 Executive MBA worldwide by the Financial Times. 

UBO- European Institute for Marine Studies (IUEM) 

A leader in the Global Campus of the Sea at the tip of Brittany, IUEM is a multidisciplinary research and training institute dedicated to the ocean and coasts. It aims to help societies meet the challenges of blue growth and sustainable development, for healthy and productive oceans. Its potential stretches from earth and life sciences to human and social sciences, and his master's and doctoral programs are fully dedicated to the field of marine and coastal sciences. Open to society, IUEM is an actor of innovation and public policy. Open to the world, IUEM develops international cooperation in Europe and beyond. 

Université du Havre

The University of Le Havre, the Ecole Nationale Supérieure Maritime (ENSM) and the Union Professionnelle des Experts Maritimes (UPEM) have pooled their skills to develop a course called ‘expert maritime’ (Maritime Expert). 

The “Diplôme d’Université Expert Maritime” (bac+5) prepares seafaring professionals for a career change, qualifying them as consultant engineers. 

The programme covers the law of the sea, maritime law, marine insurance, regulation, ISM/ ISPS codes, structure and stability, surveying, offshore, fishing, yachting. 

Course lasts 300 hours (10 modules of 30 hours) and is given by qualified teachers and lecturers. 

Université de Nantes

  • Bachelor and Masters degrees in Shipping and Trading: the IUP Maritime Finance, Banking, Insurance and Logistics centre (I.E.M.N.-IAE) of the University of Nantes offers a 3 year course in transport, shipping and port logistics, commerce and international finance. 
  • Bachelor and Masters degrees in international maritime finance and logistics: 

In March 2010, the Vice-chancellor of the University of Nantes, the director of the Ecole Centrale de Nantes, and the Director of Maritime Affairs, on behalf of the future Ecole Nationale Supérieure Maritime (ENSM), signed an agreement to establish a programme of mutual interest in higher education and research. This agreement allowed for the introduction of Bachelor and Master’s degrees in international maritime finance and logistics at the ENSM in Nantes in September 2010. This Master’s degree is included in the Fédération de Recherche Pôle Mer Littoral of the University of Nantes (FED-4111), a multi-disciplinary research organisation with around 270 researchers in 8 laboratories, and with some twelve Masters specialities in maritime sectors. 

Young Entrepreneur School

Young Entrepreneur School is the first school in France which offers programs oriented exclusively towards entrepreneurship. Inspired by Anglo-Saxon and Finnish methods, its programs and pedagogy incorporate various differentiating elements, such as: learning by doing, 100% by professionals and entrepreneurs, 50% in English, travel and internships abroad, smart specialization and cross fertilization, group and individual coaching, sport and creativity. Its credo is to enable each student to create his or her future, through practical learning of entrepreneurship. 

It offers a graduate training program dedicated to the maritime field: The “Blue Entrepreneurship program”, sponsored by Jacques Rougerie and the Sea Orbiter, in partnership with the French Maritime Cluster, the Mediterranean Sea Pole, business angels (Sophia Business Angels), companies and entrepreneurs (Monaco Sophia Business Hub, Business Club 06 ...) 

The first edition was scheduled for November 2014 in Sophia Antipolis. 

Duration: 1 year (November 2014 - June 2015) Bachelor Entrepreneur, mention "Blue Startup" 

Admission: from Bac+3 (exceptionally admission from Bac+2, according to the applicant’s academic record) 

Training fund collection and management organisations

Agefos PME

The first private administrator of vocational training funds in France, AGEFOS PME has a network covering 21 regions with over 500 vocational training advisers who support the development needs of more than 375,000 firms and 50 separate professions. AGEFOS PME acts as the registered collection agency (OPCA, Organisme paritaire collecteur agréé) for the maritime industry as well and works hand in hand with maritime companies and their employees across France. 

OPCA Transports

For twenty years, the OPCA Transport Services has been the training partner of Transports and Operational Services sectors. It has been acted for the shipping companies since 1996 but also for the harbors, port handling, river transport of goods and passengers. 

2014 key figures for all professional branches: 

43,000 member companies, 

1,100,000 employees with more than 1 out of 4 beneficiary of training. 


Diveintar Marine

Diveintar Marine Recruitment Services is a global recruitment agency dedicated to the international Marine Industry: 

  • offshore Renewable Energy, 
  • shipbuilding, 
  • shipping and Commercial Marine, 
  • harbour Management, 
  • shipchandling, 
  • Oil&Gas, 
  • leisure Marine, 
  • maritime works. 

The Diveintar team is a mix of 5 experienced consultants and recognized experts of the Marine Industry, with experience in both the navy and as head of corporate HR departments. 

Diveintar Marine also of fers a range of managerial training courses specially designed for seafarers, on shore and offshore. 

In 2013, Diveintar’s Team successfully handled 30 recruitment assignments for operational jobs, and 70 for support positions, in France, Singapore, Africa and USA. 

Horton International

Founded 25 years ago, Horton International was established as one of the first executive search and management consulting firms. 

Horton International provides outstanding executive search services that help its clients achieve their strategic staffing objectives. At group level, Horton International has developed specialty practices in various sectors, in particular a “Maritime practice” which has carried out many assignments in different activities. 

Inter Pôle

Firmly based in the local economy, Inter Pole has created a spin-off company, Inter Pole Naval and Industry, whose agencies specialize in naval engineering jobs in Brest, Concarneau, Lorient and Saint-Nazaire. Temporary staffing, recruitment, training courses and human resource solutions. Its agencies provide unique expertise in the region! 

Employment and retraining organisations


This leader in the French market is an employment web site that specialises in the naval and maritime sectors. A true ally of HR departments, Clic&Sea offers three types of services: the publication of job adverts, a targeted CV bank and contact facilities... 


A unique association in the shipping sector and state-approved since July 2010, La Touline has given nearly twenty five years of service to seafarers in the areas of employment, guidance, training including validation of experience, and the promotion of maritime trades. Through its network of partners and its highly regarded expertise, the team of employees and volunteers provides advice and personalized monitoring throughout working life, from the classroom to retraining where necessary.