The launch of the Marie-Thérèse – the eighth passenger ship in the Paul Ricard fleet, which will reinforce the number of crossingsto the islands of Embiez and Bendor – is the ideal opportunity to take a closer look at Toulon harbour’s economic cluster that delivers services and expertise in such sectors as construction, transformation, maintenance and repairs, architecture and fit-outs, trading and maritime services.
Such is the setting where the Transmétal Industrie shipyard in Saint-Mandrier built this new ferry with its « clean » propulsion system and where the IMS 700 shipyard oversaw its launch.
in a few figures*
Almost half a million jobs in 2023
€70 billion in annual production
Second largest naval industry in Europe
Second largest yacht manufacturer in the world
Due to the country’s geography, France boasts the second largest maritime space in the world by surface area**.
Sources: *Cluster Maritime Français, ** Insee
A « blue » cluster: an end-to-end range of solutions for an ever fast-growing industry
For more than three centuries, several companies operating in the blue economy have been clustering around the long-standing shipyards based in the Toulon harbour area. Now they form a centre of excellencefor the maritime industry, including an extensive array of services with high potential for giving the area even greater appeal. While forging unique synergistic ties across the sector, these companies provide a swift and effective response to the needs facing all types of vessels, including small fishing boats, strategic ships belonging to the French Navy, ferries and yachts, for national and international clients and ship-owners.
Spanning the entire Mediterranean Basin, these interactions act as major driving force for economic growth while offering considerable employment prospects.
Maritime careers training
To maintain a sharp competitive edge, the companies within the blue cluster need to hire tomorrow’s talented individuals straight from the source. That explains why private and public teaching establishments and training facilities have focused their programmes on nurturing profiles that are specifically prepared to address the needs of the maritime industry, which achieved two-digit growth in 2023.
The IPFM (French Institute for Promoting and Training Maritime Careers) is an apprentice training centre. Based at the Campus in Seyne-sur-Mer, the IPFM’s main activities span the maritime and naval industry. It offers a unique range of apprenticeship and ongoing training courses in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region that are perfectly tailored to the needs of the local economy, from shipyards (boat maintenance technicians, laminators, upholsterers and painters) through to sales engineers and seafarers (onboard mechanics, captains and sailors).
The ENSM (French National Maritime Academy) in Marseille covers the Mediterranean area and delivers an array of training courses for merchant ship crews (bridge and/or engine room), from deckhands to captains.
A high-growth sector to power the future of the metropolis
In addition to local shipbuilding activities and careers within the maritime industry, the region’s scientific sector and emerging innovative industries also deserve a mention, since they will drive strong growth in the future, such as marine renewable energy (MRE), clean ships (electricity and hydrogen), and the smart and energy-efficient ships of tomorrow’s world.
TPM is committed to supporting this entire blue economy, which is helping fuel the local area’s development and growth, while strengthening its presence on a national and international scale.
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