Posts and videos published under the YEP MED project.

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.

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.

Simulated Resource Enterprises help bring reality to students' laptops

Digital Training in the 21st century

Practice makes perfect

Written by: Lidia Slawinska, Consultant

There is no doubt about it. Historically educational models that incorporated experiential and real-life experiences have proven to be more successful. Currently many professions already employ experiential training approaches – learning-on-the-job, internships, and fellowships are but some examples.

The Escola Europea Intermodal Transport has always believed in the experiential teaching model – explain the theory of the transport operations to the students whilst simultaneously taking them to the places where the operations themselves take place. This was made possible through the signature MOST and SURCO courses, which included on-board sections of the courses where students go to visit transport terminals and experience journeys in intermodal transport means (a Ro-Pax vessel or a train). 2020 has put a stop to this and forced us to think of new models that will help bring the operations closer to the students. Through the EU-financed project YEP MED (Youth Employment in the Ports of the MEDiterranean), which launched in September 2020, a new training methodology morphed into existence – one that incorporated cyberspace with our own reality: Simulated Practice Enterprises.

Simulated Practice Enterprises

Simulated Practice Enterprises are enterprises 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). Running simulations with such practice enterprises provides a unique interactive learning experience for participants – as it forces them to apply what they have learned in a robust and risk-free environment. The students can cement their conceptual knowledge, develop vital skills and try out a number of different business strategies and business management concepts to hone their skills – all through such experimentation.

Such synergy between the theory and practice leads to the “formation and development of entrepreneurial spirit and skills, making integration easier prerequisites of future graduates in the labour market.”

Teaching business operations in a classroom is challenging, as it is nearly impossible to teach it in a purely theoretical fashion. Unlike other subject matters (science, sports, etc. where in-class experimentation and training is possible), within the field of business and business management, experimentation is not a feasible option. Frequently theory is not enough to prepare the student for realistic scenarios. Since the early 2010s, many companies have already begun to integrate simulated scenarios to their learning methodologies to better prepare students for the employment world. For example, in the Western Michigan University, Dr. Bret Wagner has integrated a simulation system, called ScrimmageSIM, which “gives students real-world experience in a virtual business setting”. The programme itself is “an effective tool because it does not give students the impression that there is a “right answer” to a business problem, as textbooks do. Rather, the programme engages students in the simulated business problem and shows how business concepts and theory provide insight into these complex situations. It does so by different business scenarios tailored to the business concept being taught.”

It is with this thinking, that the concept for the simulated environment was born for the YEP MED project.

Learning by Doing

The next iteration of a training methodology is in the virtual sphere. 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 will:

  • Promote simultaneous and integrated development of functional competencies of organisational management (social, human and business) based on a methodological-didactic simulation system that allows for contextualised and experiential knowledge.
  • Encourage the responsible and autonomous development of the student body from a problem solving and decision-making standpoint, when faced with unpredictable events, incidents and conflicts that can emerge from the dynamics of a company and its interactions with customers and suppliers.
  • Develop a permanent synergy of the contents from the continuous connections between teaching and learning activities within the local productive system.
  • Contribute 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.

This innovative and new approach will allow for the Escola and its partners to maintain its experiential teaching method, whilst giving the students more opportunities to test out many of the business and supply chain management concepts. Keeping in line with the Escola’s ideological approach which is aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the simulated environment will be open to 17 distinct groups – each corresponding to the thematic aspects of the SDGs themselves. The groups will be able to use the platform to prepare different commercial offers, learn about managing dangerous goods, discovering the machinations behind the cold chain, among other primary transport operations.

The Simulated Resource Enterprises will be put to test in the courses carried out under the YEP MED project – which themselves are divided into three parts. The ERPs will be used by students when they reach the 2nd and 3rd levels of the training. The simulated environment is designed to be as realistic as possible – and could replicate the conditions of a practical internship, giving the students the invaluable skills and experience before entering the workforce. Because the pandemic has made it difficult for companies to accept trainees to offer such opportunities, it is the goal of this part of the YEP MED project to have the simulated environment act as a near-identical virtual substitute. This way, before entering the workforce, the students will be able to learn by doing, and therewith enter the employment sphere fully prepared with virtual experience.

Digital practice will, in fact, make perfect.

Sources:

Institutional panel - YEP MED Kick Off Meeting

EU-funded YEP MED project to provide employment opportunities for the Mediterranean youth

The 9th of September 2020 became the official start date of the project “Youth Employment in the Ports of the Mediterranean“, or YEP MED in short. The project, co-financed by the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) of the European Union and led by the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport (Spain), 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 setting up collaborative national and transnational partnerships between port-logistics associations, operators, SMEs, training centres and VET providers, whilst introducing a public-private partnership (PPP) co-management process.

Between the 7th and the 8th of October, the project kicked off by bringing together representatives of the partner companies and stakeholders in a virtually-held international event. On the 7th of October, presidents of the participating public authorities and private entities gave their own analyses and outlooks on the logistic and transport sectors in the region. The second day of the conference was dedicated to meetings between the partners to lay down the groundwork for the months ahead.

“The digitalisation, environmental and sustainability aspects are currently a priority for all ports and port logistics communities.  Operations are also analyzed from the point of view of their impact. New generations must understand the impact of their decisions on the environment and must design sustainable logistics chains.” – Eduard Rodés, Director of the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport

“For us you are not a common strategic project, because you are one of the best scored ever project submitted. We have very high expectations of you. It’s the first project on ports and it’s not easy to succeed. It’s impressive because you are gathering competitors and it is still a major achievement for the programme. You are here to cooperate in something so important as it is training.” – Vincent Ernoux, Coordinator of branch Office in Valencia Antena, representing the managing Authority of the ENI CBCMED Programme.

 

About YEP MED

 

YEP MED Logo

YEP MED logo

Counting with the participation of 11 partners from Spain, Italy, France, Tunisia, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan, including public administrations such as Port de Barcelona (Spain), Autorità Portuale Mar Tirreno Centro Settentrionale (Italy), Port de Marseille-Fos (France), Damieta Port Authority (Egypt), Office de la Marine Marchande et des Ports (Tunisia), Aqaba Development Corporation (Jordan) and Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Beirut (Lebanon), as well as training centres in each of the countries such as the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport and Fundación Valenciaport (Spain),  Arab Academy (Egypt) and Institut Méditerranéen de Formation aux Métiers Maritimes (Tunisia), the project will strengthen the networks between the different countries and build the young employment sector across the Mediterranean basin. Associated entities, such as MEDPorts Association and Consell Valencià de la Joventut will also join the project.

YEP MED project was approved under the ENI CBC MED Programme call for strategic projects in 2019. It is 90% co-financed by the European Union funds, and will receive 2.9 M€ throughout its 30-month duration. During the project implementation phase, the partners and associates of the project will create virtual courses and carry out trainings for both trainers and trainees, while at the same time creating a stable network that will ensure that the training continues after the end of the project, ensuring equal opportunities for women and for young people in the years to come. For more information, you can contact Concha Palacios at the project office, citing YEP MED in the subject line.

 

*This document has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union under the ENI CBC Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport, and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union or the Programme management structures.