Turning Blue José Santos October 25, 2023

Turning Blue

Integrating Young Offenders Through the Blue Economy


09/2023 – 08/2026 (36 months)

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Empowering incarcerated youth with
opportunities for sustainable careers in the Blue Economy

The Blue Economy is a rapidly growing sector in Europe, contributing significantly to employment, innovation, and economic value. It encompasses various areas, such as marine resources, renewable energy, biotechnology, and more. Not only does it hold economic potential, but it also aligns with environmental sustainability goals, including those of the European Green Deal.

The overall aim of Turning Blue project is to create new cooperation mechanisms and training materials on the sustainable blue economy, primarily to inspire and engage disadvantaged young people (between 16 and 30 years old), who are in prison, to pursue a sustainable ‘blue career’ in one of the Blue Economy sectors.


  • Cyprus
  • Italy
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • The Netherlands


  • European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund - Action Grant Blue careers for a sustainable blue economy


Identify and Define Blue Economy Employment Opportunities: Throughout the project's duration, identify a minimum of 30 high-potential job roles within the Blue Economy and outline the necessary professional competencies, encompassing knowledge and skills required to excel in these sectors.

Establish a "From Prison to the Blue Economy" Model: Develop an integrated model facilitating the transition of individuals from incarceration to the Blue Economy. Implement a training and capacity-building approach and transfer this model to professionals across various sectors, including prison staff, career counselors, and industry professionals.

Create a Job-Placement Platform: The project will develop a specialised job-placement platform connecting young individuals leaving prison, who seek employment in the Blue Economy, with motivated operators in this sector. The aim here is to facilitate positive job experiences, mentorship opportunities, and job retention.

Develop Awareness Training: Create an innovative awareness training programme focused on Blue Economy careers, incorporating diverse educational content. Target at least 84 incarcerated young individuals from five different European Union countries to enhance their awareness, knowledge, and motivation for pursuing careers in the Blue Economy.

Establish the 'Turning Blue' Network: This network will foster connections and strengthen collaboration among prison services, education/training providers, and the Blue Industry with the ultimately goal of inspiring and engaging young ex-offenders in pursuing sustainable careers within the Blue Economy.

Bridge the Gap for Inclusive and Sustainable Blue Economy: Foster collaboration among stakeholders in the Blue Economy, higher education institutions, justice systems, and civil society organisations. Generate new knowledge to influence policies at various levels and promote a more inclusive and sustainable Blue Economy.

Conduct Knowledge Dissemination Events: In the final project year, organise five national seminars, two EU webinars, and one EU conference, engaging over 350 participants. Share the 'Turning Blue' experience and insights, extending the reach to at least 12 other European Union jurisdictions.

Expected outcomes

A training programme on sustainable blue economy for young people deprived of liberty.

A job-matching platform for enhancing sectorial cooperation between prisons administrations and the maritime economy.

A network and capacity-building of key players in the blue economy, justice and social inclusion sectors, establishing sound and efficient dissemination and exploitation strategies for each of the stakeholder groups and actors.

Coordinator & Partners