The YEP MED training was carried out largely online using the Google Meet platform

148 students join the first YEP MED fully digital international training in Barcelona, Tunis, Civitavecchia and Beirut

The YEP MED training programme based on simulated enterprises allowed students to practice international trade operations using a real-life Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platform

The first fully digital international training of the YEP MED (Youth Employment in the Ports of the MEDiterranean) project kicked-off last week in four different port communities: Barcelona, Tunis, Civitavecchia and Beirut. The training course finished on the 31st of May 2021. Each port community was responsible for bringing to life a simulated freight forwarding operator and execute international trade operations between the participating countries.

Thanks to the digital tools, a total of 148 students from the four port communities took part in this unique course. The global coordination and organisation of the project was overseen by the Escola Europea, lead partner of the project, whilst local project partners gave national level support. At the international level, participants could interact with students from other Mediterranean countries and support each other in the export operations they need to design, plan and manage as part of the training. Alongside having a widely international character, the student group also featured a high proportion of women in its midst – who formed around 41% of all participants. Making it easier for women to access employment in the Mediterranean transport sector is one of the key bastions of the YEP MED initiative.

This course was the first of the series of the 2nd stage of the YEP MED training. The first stage comprised vocational training (VT) courses that offered an introduction to port logistics and operations. This second stage gives the students an opportunity to gain practical experience and to gain a global understanding of the port-logistic operations first-hand through the use of a newly designed virtual platform that replicates a real port community in the virtual sphere. The students need to work together to design and prepare transport operations that freight forwarders regularly carry out by accessing the Port Virtual Lab. This virtual reality created by the Escola Europea allows students to interact with different companies that are involved in the process of an import / export operation: shippers of several industries as real-life substitute customers (Play Fine Fruits, Play Fine Clothing, Play Fine Cars, Play Fine Pharma, Play Machine Tools, and Play Chemicals), transport operators such as a shipping line, a rail operator or a haulier company (SDG Lines, Port Railway, Play Haulier), customs related entities such as customs brokers and customs administrations (Play Customs Agent and Play Smart Customs) and a Port Community System (MedTrade). You can find out more about these theoretical companies by going to the Port Virtual Lab site.

The Simulated Practice Enterprise is a methodological didactic strategy of “Learning by Doing” – through a digital lens. With the ERP system provided by Click & Cargo, the Escola Europea and its partners have worked to develop a digital environment that promotes simultaneous and integrated development of functional competencies of organisational management (social, human and business) based on a methodological-didactic simulation system that allows for contextualized and experiential knowledge. At the same time, the Click & Cargo system contributes to the vocational guidance of students and the employability of graduates through the creation of role-playing assessments and specific tasks representative of the world of work.

“From the point of view of knowledge to be transferred to the students, the training succeeded in achieving the objectives for which it was developed. The content of the sessions is very satisfactory insofar as it offers very varied technical knowledge to be able to use the Click and Cargo. Technical knowledge well founded by theoretical knowledge in international maritime trade techniques. On the educational level, the succession of sessions has been well studied ensuring the progression of the knowledge produced.” – Mr Anis Romdhani, lecturer from Tunis

An additional benefit of the YEP MED training courses is the unique benefit gleamed from the international community of teachers. Thanks to the collaboration of more than 30 teachers from Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) centres and professionals of the sector, the students were presented with a distinctively multicultural and very experienced teaching staff – which further added to the authenticity of the heterogenous Mediterranean training.

“In these two weeks, I had the opportunity to meet students from Beirut, Ortona, Barcelona and Tunis. We have learned how import and export shipping works through the Click&Cargo ERP platform. We have learned and increased our knowledge in the logistics sector with the collaboration of professionals who explained the different procedures and aspects. I found it very useful and interesting for the students who want to continue their career in the sector”. – Flavia di Capua, student from ITS Caboto (Italy)

These YEP MED VT2 and VT3 digital international training courses will take place over the early summer months, concluding before the autumn months and paving the way for the next stage of the training model – the integration of the successful participants in local companies through apprenticeships that will complete the dual training model.

For more information about the YEP MED project you can contact Concha Palacios from the project office at concha.palacios@portdebarcelona.cat or head to the website.

The panel at the press conference

The Escola Europea and Click&Cargo develop a virtual port to be used in simulation exercises

In the framework of the European YEP MED project, the agreement between the Escola Europea and the software development company Click&Cargo has been presented to the public on the 26th of May 2021.

Logos of the entities involved in the project

Participating in the event from the Escola Europea were its director Eduard Rodés and its Chief Business Officer Marta Miquel. The Project Manager from Click & Cargo, Valentina Salinas and the head of development Alex Rodriguez, alongside Marisa Clavero – a teacher from the Institut Lluïsa Cura, and Guillem Sardañés, CEO of the freight forwarding company eGlobe, also joined the press conference to explain the details of the agreement.

Eduard Rodés presented the YEP MED project and the PortVirtualLab.com platform, which will be used for the development of the training applications foreseen in the European project. YEP MED, funded by the ENI CBC Med programme, has a budget of 2.97 million euros and a planned duration of 30 months.

One of the main characteristics of the development of the project has been the close and fruitful collaboration of different organisations in the Barcelona Port Logistics Community, including: the Barcelona Port Authority, ATEIA, Institut Les Salines, Institut Lluïsa Cura, Click&Cargo and various private companies in the sector such as eGlobe.

Marta Miquel of the Escola Europea has highlighted that the agreement has already enabled training in the use of the platform for trainers from institutes and training centres in the 7 participating countries from the project: Spain, France, Italy, Tunisia, Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon. A total of 38 teachers specialised in International Trade from 12 training centres have been prepared to deliver the practice sessions in their respective centres and countries in the coming months.

Since last week, some of these trainers have already begun putting into practice what they have learned in a course that is being conducted online. 148 trainees from Spain, Italy, Tunisia and Lebanon are currently simulating project operations in the first course of this kind for students.

Valentina Salinas emphasised that the use of Click&Cargo as an ERP platform for the freight forwarding sector was the result of a public tender in which it obtained the best score for its technical features and ease of use. The proposed platform is fully accessible online and in English, which eliminates the barriers of distance and language in a sector where English is the lingua franca. The platform aims to integrate digitalisation processes, facilitating and automating the usual tasks of freight forwarding companies.

The co-founder and director of eGlobe, Guillem Sardañés, highlighted the speed and efficiency of the training that students receive in a relatively short time – achieving the same results in just a few weeks -something that normally require months of training. Sardañés highlighted the rapid process of digitalisation of freight forwarding companies and the need to have personnel prepared to face the challenges and changes that these processes entail. He also affirmed that the similarity of real-life operations to the simulated ones is amazing and proposed that the tool could also serve professionals active in the sector as an aid in digital transitions.

On behalf of the training institutes Marisa Clavero emphasised that the YEP MED programme and the PortVirtualLab.com platform have made it possible to go to the most minute levels of details in operations for the first time, which in practice means a simulation of the activities carried out in all levels of a company. She further emphasised the value of the students’ relations with the teams from the other countries, who act as corresponding agents in their respective countries during the exercises. The management of these relations, with the added complexity of dealing with different cultures, different languages and different visions, is a very valuable experience for the profile of a worker in a freight forwarding company, who is also a citizen of the world by the nature of his or her work.

Eduard Rodés pointed out that contact with other software companies in the sector has already begun, with the goal to extend training to other groups from the Port Logistics Community in the coming years and that the Escola Europea will work to facilitate the digitisation processes of all the actors involved in operations.

For more information on the YEP MED project you can contact Concha Palacios from the project office at concha.palacios@portdebarcelona.cat.

Final Zoom of the Training for Trainers Course

YEP MED brings its future trainers closer to its digital port community using the Port Virtual Lab as its platform

32 lecturers, 19 men and 13 women, from TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) centres from 7 countries in the Mediterranean tested the new training platform developed by the YEP MED project

The Escola Europea Intermodal Transport, lead partner of the EU-Funded YEP MED (Youth Employment in the Ports of the MEDiterranean) project, organised the first training of trainers’ course in the framework of the project between the 19th and 27th of April 2021. The course was carried out online, which has allowed for the active participation of teachers from TVET training centres from all of the partner countries involved in the project – a feat that would have been difficult to achieve if presential attendance was required. As part of the training, the participants were divided into 8 teams of 4.  Each team represented one of the logistics-port communities participating in the YEP MED project, so that import and export operations between all the northern and southern countries were simulated. A representative from Morocco also participated as an observer.

The training of trainers’ course has served as a pilot course based on the virtually simulated enterprises of the project. Simulated practice enterprises are recreated in a digital environment that simulates real-time conditions to allow for nearly real-life situations without actually having to involve real companies (and therewith lowering the possibility of costly errors). As part of the YEP MED project, an effort was made to create an ideal replica of a port community in which the “players” could take control and manage companies and/or administrations, and thus gain valuable experience and practice in their training.

“Covid-19 has some advantages that shed light on innovation , and opportunities.the Escola Europea through the YEP MED programme made us travel all along Mediteranean coast without moving from our place and costing us nothing. The programme will prepare the students to dive in port community industry mastering both technical aspects as far as freight forwarding is concerned and digitalisation  that eases and secures interactions between all stakeholders . The YEP MED programme will prevent students from getting left behind. Thanks Escola for existing!”
Kaoutar Guessous
AFFM Vice president/ Casablanca Morocco

The future lecturers of YEP MED’s VT2 (Vocational Training 2) and VT3 (Vocational Training 3) courses tested the capabilities of the simulated Freight Forwarding enterprise (www.playforwarding.com) created in the Port Virtual Lab, a digital twin of a Port-Logistics Community. They also received lectures and workshops on how to use the simulation platform and were taught the key elements of the Freight Forwarding business.

In the Port Virtual Lab created by the Escola Europea, students will be able to interact with different companies that are involved in the process of an import / export operation: shippers of several industries as customers (Play Fine Fruits, Play Fine Clothing, Play Fine Cars, Play Fine Pharma, Play Machine Tools, and Play Chemicals), transport operators such as a shipping line, a rail operator or a haulier company (SDG Lines, Port Railway, Play Haulier), custom related entities such as custom brokers and customs administrations (Play Customs Agent and Play Smart Customs) and a Port Community System (MedTrade). All of these companies are currently under digital development and will be used as real-life substitutes during the second and third part of the YEP MED courses for both the vocational students and young professionals. You can find out more about these theoretical companies by going to the Port Virtual Lab site.

The Training for Trainers finished with a great success – with the teachers impressed by the virtual reality created by Click & Cargo, and by the accuracy of the operations simulated by the system.

“The ToT course has been an amazing opportunity to put into practice all the skills and the professional experiences of professors, managers and professionals of more than 6 countries, working mixed together in international  and multicultural teams, having to replicate into an e-learning ERP platform the real-life experience of a freight forwarder preparing a commercial offer and managing the subsequent shipment at the very last detail, from the ITU booking to the Master and House B/L paperwork, for two separate operations, an export and an import shipment across the Mediterranean Sea,” said Marco Grifone, one of the course participants, from ITS MOST (Italy). “Having each team representing one agent in a partner country, it was possible to feel the difficulties that are experienced in real life by freight forwarders trading across the Mediterranean, and that is also a clear picture of why it is essential to promote projects like YEP MED, in order to improve and make easier the import/export processes for countries that are getting more and more connected every day, in a perspective of peaceful cooperation and trade development which can provide wealth and well-being to the whole Mediterranean community.”

Once the trainers have been trained, courses for the students will start taking place in the late spring and summer of 2021, with first round of the VT2 and VT3 courses expected to take place in the final weeks of May and the first weeks of June of 2021in the participating communities.

For more information about the YEP MED project you can contact Concha Palacios from the project office at concha.palacios@portdebarcelona.cat or head to the website.

Firma - Acuerdo Barcelona

Port Communities: “If you want to walk far, walk together”

Written by: Marta Miquel, Chief Operational Officer – Escola Europea

In the development of port-logistic communities this is no exception.

Some port communities in the Mediterranean have considered that, in order to address their strategic objectives, they need a trained and talented community. To this end, it is necessary to coordinate forces to make the port an attractive place to work. The involvement of companies and administrations is needed to create quality employment.

The YEP MED project, funded by the ENI CBC Med programme from the European Union, provides the necessary framework for action to contribute to the development of the technical and professional resources of the port community and to adapt it to the needs of the sector, in order to strengthen employment, especially among young people and women.

The alliance of key partners in each port community, such as public institutions, training centres and professional associations, will be a great milestone in the progress of creating a community endowed with talent and skills. In the case of Barcelona, this has been reflected in a Strategic Agreement for the Promotion of Vocational Training within the framework of the port, maritime, logistics, transport and international trade economy sector, which has brought together the main actors who will work on this initiative: associations of companies in the sector, public administrations involved, training centres and trade unions.

Agreements such as this one will be the seeds of new transnational agreements between actors of the different Mediterranean port communities at all levels, with the aim of strengthening the links between the academic worlds and initial vocational training and employment opportunities, through active participation in studies, programmes and analyses that will provide the necessary knowledge in areas that demand the most jobs.

It is important to guarantee the quality of all training actions, regardless of the modalities in which they are carried out, basing them on elements of innovation with tools that facilitate learning and bring it as close to reality as possible. New learning modalities linked to technological developments must be taken into account, through national and international best practices, whilst continually trying to develop the concept of digitalisation, environmental protection and sustainability.

The actions of the YEP MED project, accompanied by the signing of this strategic agreement, allign with various United Nations Sustainable Development Goals such as quality education (SDG 4), gender equality (SDG 5), decent work and economic growth (SDG 8), industry, innovation and infrastructure (SDG 9), reduced inequalities (SDG 10), sustainable communities (SDG 11), climate action (SDG 13) and partnerships for the goals (SDG 17).

Meeting the requirements of the labour market and the needs of companies by providing them with workers with appropriate skills, knowledge and practical experience will contribute to improving the productivity of the companies in the sector, of the community as a whole and of the region of which we are a part of.

We must walk together to be able to go not only far, but to do so as a community.

Firma - Acuerdo Barcelona

Public and private sectors commit to the YEP MED project – and work to bring more women to the port sector through dual training

This past Tuesday, representatives of the public and private sector of the Barcelona port community met in the headquarters of the Port of Barcelona – the World Trade Centre- to sign the Strategic Agreement for the promotion of training under the sector of the port economy, maritime, logistics, transport and international trade.

The event, presided by the Catalunya Minister of Employment Hon. Mr Chakir El Homrani Lesfar, brought together both public and private entities from the Barcelona port community to sign the agreement, and therewith allow for better collaboration and operations between the parties implicated in training and employment in the area, with a particular focus on new and innovative training approaches offered by the courses currently developed under the EU-funded YEP MED project.

The Minister for Employment for Catalunya Hon. Mr. Chakir El Homrani Safar stressed that at this time, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, it is very important to generate optimism that will help us come out of the health crisis better than we came in.

“When we talk about better conditions in the world of work, it is essential to talk about vocational training and to build it together. We have been talking about all the agents, we cannot talk about good VET if we do not have all the actors and companies and the experiences of the sector aligned”, he stressed.

Modernised Dual Training opportunities

Training is an integral part of the productive process of companies and the professional development of people entering or working within the sector. Furthermore, the rise of technology has ushered in a new industrial revolution, in which the continuing demand for new knowledge means that many old paradigms about training and learning need to be broken, and new ones that fit the current climate developed. In an increasingly hyperconnected world, knowledge of digitised processes, digital twins, smart technologies and AI will be vital, and it is only through innovative and modern training methodologies that this can be achieved. YEP MED courses will offer just that, by not only bringing students closer to the operations and infrastructures within the port community, but by also recreating a digital copy of the said community through an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning).

El Homrani Safar argued that all of this is related to the desire to build a more modern vocational training system that is more closely linked to the specific needs of the sector. This line of work aims to ensure two things: to provide opportunities for active workers and people who want to join the labour market and need professional qualifications, and at the same time want to accompany the activity of the productive fabric.

“We have been working for two years but now, with a framework with all agents and administrations, it will allow us to ensure that all the programming we do from the consortium, the SOC and the Nautical Institute, that everything is aligned to the needs of the sector and the companies that are part of it,” he added, speaking about the local environment of Catalunya.

Industry consensus

Firma - Acuerdo Barcelona

The event on the second of March was well-represented by principal actors of the Catalonian public and private sectors. The agreement was signed by Mrs Mercà Conesa i Pagès from the Port Authority of Barcelona, Eduard Rodés i Gubern from the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport, Mr. Jordi Trius from the Ship Agents Association of Barcelona (Associació Agents Consignataris de Barcelona), Mrs. Esther Villaseca on behalf of the Association of Stevedoring Companies in the Port of Barcelona, Mr Sr. Emilio Sanz from ATEIA – OLTRA –  Association of International Freight Forwarders of Barcelona, Mr. Agustí Martí from the Nautical Faculty of the Politechnic Uniersity of Catalunya, Mr. Epifanio Mejido from ATEC -the Association of Container Business Carriers, Mr. Lluis Mijoler from the City Council of the Prat de Llobregat, Mr. Antonio Llobet from the Barcelona Association of Customs Agents, Fabian Mohedano from the Public Agency for Vocational Training and Qualifications (Generalitat de Catalunya), Mrs. Núria Marín from the Barcelona Provincial Council, Mr.  Jaume Collboni from Barcelona Activa SAU SPM (Barcelona City Council),  Mrs Neus Pons from the BCN Vocational Training Foundation, Mr. David Saldoni de Tena from the Free Trade Zone Consortium General Directorate of Transport and Mobility, Mr. Andor Serra Merckens from the Barcelona Nautical Cluster Free Zone Consortium, Mr. Pere Navarro from the Free Trade Consortium, Hon Mr. Chakir El Homrani Lesfar from the Public Employment Office of Catalonia – Consortium for Continuing Education of Generalitat de Catalunya Catalonia – Generalitat de Catalunya, Mr.  Feliu López from the Nautical Institute of Barcelona, Mr. José García-Aubert from Marina Barcelona 92, Mr. Carlos Boy Rodriguez from the General Workers Union of Catalunya and Mr. José Pérez Domínguez from the Workers’ Commission of Catalunya (CCOO) – representatives from the majority unions of the sector – and Mr.  Josep Gonàlez-Cambray Education Consortium of Barcelona.

About YEP MED

The YEP MED project, led by the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport, aims to develop port-logistics training and vocational (TVET) resources adapted to sector needs to strengthen youth employability; increase and upgrade local employment opportunities through the creation of real dual-learning programmes with job placements, strengthening the role of SME’s operating in the port ecosystems for future employment creation; and set up collaborative national and transnational partnerships between port-logistics associations, operators, SMEs, training centres and VET providers, whilst introducing a PPP co-management process.

The project counts on the participation of partners from Spain, Italy, France, Tunisia, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan. Throughout 30 months, the partners and associates of the project will implement tools to achieve the main objectives of this initiatives, in the short, medium and long terms. For a full list of partners of the YEP MED project, you can go to the project’s website. As associated entities, MEDPorts association and Consell Valencià de la Joventut will also join the project. The project will receive 2.9 M€ (90% EU Contribution) in funding over its lifetime

For more information on the project you can contact Concha Palacios from the project office at concha.palacios@portdebarcelona.cat.

YEP MED VT01 - Maritime Visit

Barcelona: EU-funded YEP MED trains future professionals in the port management and logistics sector

The training, carried out by the Escola Europea saw the participation of more than 50 students from Institut les Salines in el Prat de Llobregat

This week the first course of the YEP MED project’s vocational training series, funded by the EU’s ENI CBC Med Programme, came to a close in Barcelona. The week-long course, initially scheduled to take place virtually, took a hybrid format when it became possible to host some lectures in the Escola’s classroom in person – the Aula dels Estels – and to physically visit the Port of Barcelona. The objective of the course was to provide first-year students of vocational training in International Trade and those studying Transport and Logistics at the Institut Les Salines in Barcelona with first-hand knowledge of the Port of Barcelona, its infrastructures, logistics equipment and operations, as well as its environmental management and its digital sphere. The course also gave the companies represented by the sector associations in the training the opportunity to showcase the characteristics of their activities and the professional profiles they need to develop appropriately, whilst at the same time encouraging an open dialogue between the centres and the companies and promoting the creation of dual-training opportunities.

The theoretical contents of the course focused on Port Management characteristics, introduced Port-Logistics Community Actors (Maritime Customs, Customs Brokers, Freight Forwarders, Ship Agents, Stevedores, Border Inspection Post) and touched on environmental policies and characteristics, as well as the emergence of Smart Ports. To complement the theoretical training, workshops were planned which included an in-person maritime visit to the Port of Barcelona, , a workshop on customs procedures, a workshop on freight forwarders operations, as well as a FunTraders session, an international trade simulation game. The training was completed with a Kahoot test designed to test the knowledge gained by the course participants during the week. The classes were given by professionals from the Port of Barcelona, the Maritime Customs Administration in the Port of Barcelona, the Association of Customs Agents in Barcelona, the Association of International Freight Forwarders, the Shipping Agens Association in Barcelona and the Escola Europea.

“After one exciting week, I feel very lucky that I took part in the YEP MED program in his first edition, held by the Escola Europea Intermodal Transport”, attested Aymen Kadri, a student from the Institut Les Salines, upon completing the training. “Despite the newness of this project, we as students were well-surprised by the high level of organisation and efficient coordination set by the Escola Europea team and the professionals of the logistics field in Barcelona. As for myself it was a real breakthrough in widening my knowledge.

From day one, it was noticeable how:

  • Enthusiastic these executives were about their domain
  • Passionate about transmitting the data to us without leaving any doubt or confusion
  • Impressive they were in combining theory with practice.

For the practical side, we had a great chance to find out the various operations from the departments of the Barcelona Port, and through Marta Miquel we received attentive guidance. Innovation signs were obvious, encouraging for new development perspectives.”

Foto Aula dels Estels - YEP MED course

The Vocational Training 1 course is the first part of a 3-training course methodology developed under the project, designed to prepare the students and young adults for transport and logistic professions in the Mediterranean region. As part of the later training, the participants will be able to simulate certain real-life operations in a digital twin of a port community created for the project. This kind of digital and practical experience will help prepare the students for any challenges that they may face in real working environments.

About YEP MED

The YEP MED project, led by the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport, aims to develop port-logistics training and vocational (TVET) resources adapted to sector needs to strengthen youth employability; increase and upgrade local employment opportunities through the creation of real dual-learning programmes with job placements, strengthening the role of SME’s operating in the port ecosystems for future employment creation; and set up collaborative national and transnational partnerships between port-logistics associations, operators, SMEs, training centres and VET providers, whilst introducing a PPP co-management process.

The project counts on the participation of partners from Spain, Italy, France, Tunisia, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan. Throughout 30 months, the partners and associates of the project will implement tools to achieve the main objectives of this initiatives, in the short, medium and long terms. For a full list of partners of the YEP MED project, you can go to the project’s website. As associated entities, MEDPorts association and Consell Valencià de la Joventut will also join the project. The project will receive 2.9 M€ (90% EU Contribution) in funding over its lifetime

For more information on the project you can contact Concha Palacios from the project office at concha.palacios@portdebarcelona.cat.

Virtual Meetings are becoming the norm

Towards blue virtual training

Lidia Slawinska

Written by Lidia Slawinska, Consultant

In recent times a vast number of technological transformations has encompassed the maritime sphere. A recent study (2020) commissioned by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport (DG Move) analysed different social aspects of the maritime transport of goods, and identified two technological trends that are particularly visible on the blue horizon in the near future: autonomous and intelligent shipping. The prediction is that in the next three decades these two developments will have become the norm. Ship workers will soon be surrounded by technology that assists in the vessel’s functions, leading to a potential operational redundancy. Terminal operators and freight forwarders will have to deal with smart ports, the Internet of Things, and virtual realities, and the role of the ship operators will shift towards the virtual sphere. This implies a very different training paradigm for the future transport professional – as very different skills will become invaluable. Future professionals will need to acquire an amalgam of different skills, blending the mechanical with the technological, and educational institutions will need to adapt. Covid-19 has doubtlessly accelerated this timeline towards virtual training.

The maritime industry is playing an essential role in the short-term emergency response to COVID-19 by easing the transport flows of vital commodities and products. Although a considerable number of ports has succeeded to stay open to cargo operations, the sector has been hit regardless, and economic losses have been recorded by ports across the Mediterranean. Most of the ports still remain closed to passenger traffic. Mid and long-term recovery will need to further enhance sustainability and resilience of the maritime transport sector as a whole, for sustaining jobs, international trade, and global economy, as much as possible.

The Coronavirus pandemic been instrumental in shifting the ways in which we operate. Overcoming physical distances has become essential to ensure the continued development of businesses ranging across all industries – with the education sector particularly being hit hard. The solution for many has been to turn towards digitisation. Automation, artificial intelligence and the growth of the Internet of Things has enabled many companies and institutions to reshape their business models and operate in remote environments.

The growth of the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things is facilitating the move towards a virtual training reality

For a centre like the Escola, which relies on experiential learning methodologies, the technological shift has proved particularly tricky. It’s proven approach towards delivering knowledge through a combination of theoretical lectures and practical workshops is quite difficult to replicate in a digital environment – even with the help of the increasingly popular online meeting applications such as Zoom, WebEx and Go2Meeting. A solution has presented itself in the form of a new project – YEP-MED, or the “Youth Employment in the Ports of the Mediterranean”, which will be launched in September 2020.

The project, headed by the Escola Europea and with 11 partners coming from 7 countries on the Northern and Southern shores of the Mediterranean (Spain, Italy, France, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan), has been selected as one of the projects under the European Neighbourhood Instrument CBCMED in 2020 (http://www.enicbcmed.eu/) . The goals of the project are to adapt training to the sector’s real needs and allow for the acquisition of skills to succeed in the work context; to strengthen the ability of Port Authorities and training centres to combine training and job placements by collaborating with at least 600 companies in 7 countries of the ENI area; and increasing employment rates of young people and women and offering them a real possibility to work within personalised mentoring and tutor programs.

How will this training be offered, in the aftermath of Covid-19? To replace the regular experiential approach of the Escola’s proven methodology, YEP-MED will take the training into the virtual world. The students will take part in teleconferences during workshops and debates with professionals and teachers. These will be accompanied by online on-demand training, which the students will need to complete during the 3 week long courses. If the health-related crisis subsides and the situation permits it, visits to port installations will accompany the on-demand classes. The final element to cement knowledge acquisition will be simulation. Working with ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems, the project partners will re-create digital twins of the port communities involved in the project. They will then ask the participants to take over practice enterprises and solve certain case studies involving transport operations. This system will ensure that the participants (albeit remotely) experience the operations themselves, and gain a considerable amount of experience before entering the work force.

Whether or not this new approach will prove effective, and will become the blueprint to use in future maritime training schemes, is to be seen. Being able to experience the operations in a world as complex as the maritime world is essential to prepare young people for real life operations. The virtual world cannot ever completely replace the physical experience – but in today’s reality it is the best option that educators have to prepare future professionals. Automated processes on board of ships, the internet of things, and smart ports all contribute and make the ERP more reliable and easier to programme. Different sectors have already taken the virtual plunge with training (air transport being one of the most famous ones, given the high cost and risk of real-life tests). Perhaps the sea is next in line.

 

Written by:

  • Lidia Slawinska

 

Useful links:

RePort project nearing its close – 26 trucks modified to run on natural gas

On the 10th of June 2020, the final training organised under the RePort project took place, which focused on the efficient driving techniques of vehicles equipped with natural gas. The participants followed strict health and safety guidelines applied in accordance with the Spanish government guidelines aimed to limit the spread of Covid-19.

The training consisted of a theoretical class on efficient driving techniques of trucks transformed to run on Natural Gas under the framework of the RePort project, as well as practical workshops in said trucks and with drivers who have attended previous theoretical parts of the training but had yet to complete the practical aspects.

In total, throughout the lifetime of the project, 26 trucks have been adapted to carry natural gas, and their respective drivers have received the corresponding training to operate them safely and efficiently.

The RePort project begun in January 2016. It aims to reduce the air pollutant and acoustic emissions at the Port of Barcelona, with the overall goal of improving the air quality of the city. The project, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund, is nearing its end.

RePort - Mobilitat Eco

The overall goal of the RePort has been to develop an innovative technology to convert Diesel engines into Dual-Fuel ones, making it possible for them to run on gas, therewith making them more sustainable and less polluting. The partners have been contributing to the consolidation of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as a real, efficient and sustainable alternative to traditional fossil fuels. This helped contribute to the development of a logistics hub within the port area where trucks run on these alternative fuels. This has been in line with the Port of Barcelona’s Sustainable Development Plan, which has set guidelines for a new and more sustainable industrial transportation sector to emerge in the Catalan capital.

The partners involved in RePort are:

The RePort project will finalise in July 2020.

The Port of Barcelona completes the RePort project with 26 trucks converted to dual-fuel

The RePort project, led by the Port of Barcelona is making positive progress and preparing for its final phase. The initiative aims to promote natural gas as an alternative fuel for trucks.

“Today we already have 25 trucks transformed to support compressed natural gas (CNG), and of the remaining one will be transformed to liquefied natural gas (LNG). For this we will put some LNG tanks and adapt the engine so it can work with both diesel and gas,” explained Daniel Ruiz, environmental consultant for the introduction of Liquefied Natural Gas to the Port of Barcelona.

On the 19th of February Daniel Ruiz presided over the general assembly of the RePort project. The meeting aimed to clarify the last points of the final phase of the project, which is scheduled to end on 15 April this year. This included “closing the technical part of the project and the economic justification, where all the documentation must be submitted in order to process the grant”. Also, the meeting served to “talk about the last transformation of the trucks to LNG”.

According to Ruiz, the transformed trucks correspond to different companies that are part of the Association of Container Transport Companies (ATEC according to its Spanish name).

In the words of Daniel Ruiz, the most important thing of this initiative, led and coordinated by the Port of Barcelonam, is the “reduction of emissions of NOx and CO2”, alongside the “reduction of the economic bill, as the use of natural gas results in less consumed diesel, therefore making it more profitable for truckers”.

The RePort project

 The RePort project planned for “the transformation of 26 trucks that operate in the Port of Barcelona and transport containers of goods, transforming them from diesel to the dual-fuel mode, with the use of compressed natural gas or liquefied natural gas,” said Daniel Ruiz, from the Port of Barcelona.

RePort is funded by the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund under the Catalan FEDER Operational Programme, managed by Acció, the Catalan Government’s agency for business competitiveness.

The project partners are the Association of Container Transporters (ATEC), Gas Natural Fenosa, Generalitat de Catalunya, Dimsport Spain, IDIADA or the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, and the Escola Europea-Intermodal Transport, among others.

Daniel Ruiz reiterated that “the transformation of the engines has consisted of the installation of a switchboard”, which controls the injection of gas into the engine and gas tanks. Of the trucks that are part of the project, 25 have a deposit of compressed natural gas and one has been equipped with liquefied natural gas.

For more information about the project, you can visit the project pages:

 

 

Source:

Diario del Puerto

The Escola consolidates TransLogMED and SailNet projects in Algeria

Between the 9th and 10th of February, the Escola Europea has consolidated the TransLogMED and SailNet projects in Algeria by signing agreements with various significant national institutions of the logistics sectors.

The Escola’s director, Eduard Rodés, met with the president of the national group of port services – Serport, Mr. Achour Djellol, to sign the collaborative document in the framework of the TransLogMED project. The project aims to promote the benefits of the Motorways of the Sea as tools for sustainable development and the creation of employment in the port logistics sectors in the Mediterranean region.

As part of the promotional visit, and to increase collaboration within the country, Mr Rodés visited Aouidette Djelloul, the president of the National Union of Freight Forwarders and Commissionaires of Algeria (Union Nationale des Transitaires et Commissionaires en douane agréés Algériens – UNTCA).

The Escola has already held various activities in Algeria in relation to this project. Futhermore in 2019 a MOST (Motorways of the Sea Training) course dedicated exclusively to Algerian operators will take place.

On the second day of the visit Eduard Rodés met with Abdallah Seriai, the president of the Professional Association of Algerian Maritime Agents (APAMA) and Aziz Mantrach, the president of Fonasba, the international federation of maritime agents, to formally incorporate Algeria in the SAILNET project, a programme nurturing education and international mobility established in seven countries (Spain, Portugal, Italy, Morocco, Tunisia, Argentina and now Algeria). The goal of this project is to establish a unique knowledge network through courses and exchange programmes for young professionals of the maritime and logistics sectors, therewith fostering potential future collaboration between companies in the participating countries.

As part of the event, a presentation on the position of the cosignatory agent as interpreted by international law took place, followed by an introduction to the new agreements between FONASBA and BIMCO (the International Maritime and Baltic Council).

Check out the website http://www.sailnetprogramme.com to find out more about the SAILNET Programme and the Escola’s website to learn all about TransLogMED: https://www.escolaeuropea.eu/projects/translogmed/