Tag Archive for: experiential training

Inauguracion de la primera edición del curso Forma't al Port - Talent

The first edition of the Forma’t al Port – TALENT begins

A high performance programme for specialised training in the transport, logistics and port sector

On Thursday the 3rd of November the opening ceremony of the first edition of the Forma’t al Port Talent programme took place at the premisses of the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport. The course is a high-performance training in which participants have had to pass assessment tests and professional interviews before being selected to participate. During the training, candidates will be able to see elements that make up a logistics-port community first-hand. They will also obtain a detailed report on their professional profile at the end of the course which will allow them to be a part of a specialised recruitment database for the companies participating in this training.

With this initiative, the Escola Europea, together with the Port of Barcelona, Barcelona City Council, Barcelona Provincial Council, the Zona Franca and the companies sponsoring the Forma’t al Port programme in its TALENT edition, seeks to solve one of the most significant problems in the sector identified within the framework of the Training and Employment working group of the Port of Barcelona Governing Council: the lack of qualified talent.

The opening ceremony was attended by Eduard Rodés, the director of the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport; Agustín Oleaga, non-executive president of DHL Supply Chain Iberia, who shared his experience with the students, giving them advice and recommendations to continue their professional career. In addition, Catalina Grimalt, the deputy director general of the Port of Barcelona gave a speech in English, the language in which the training will take place, encouraging the participants and explaining the role that the Escola Europea has played in the development of qualified professionals in the sector.

Grimalt highlighted the long trajectory that Escola Europea has travelled in technical and specialised training: “For 15 years, like the sector, Escola Europea has constantly evolved, like an organism that follows the Darwinian laws of the survival of the fittest. It has grown, spread its influence along the Mediterranean and Atlantic shores and strengthened its relations with international training centres”.

The training will take place in the Barcelona port area and at sea during a SSS route between Barcelona and Civitavecchia. In addition to technical training, trainees will have the opportunity to develop transversal skills such as teamwork, communication and organisation. This will enable them to learn the technical vocabulary of the sector and to function in an international port environment.

The creation of this programme has been possible thanks to the collaboration between public entities, private companies and the academic sector. As a result, the sponsoring companies will have access to a pool of qualified talent, facilitating recruitment processes and giving access to the most qualified young people in the sector within the region. This will ultimately facilitate a solution to the recruitment processes of highly qualified personnel within the sector.

To this end, the Escola continues to collaborate with public and private entities. Professionals of all levels of experience contribute to the design and implementation of all of its courses, so that what students are taught reflects the reality of the sector.

The Escola Europea as a model for training in the logistics and ports industry in Thailand

On the 25th of October the Escola Europea, together with the Port of Barcelona and the Barcelona port community, signed a collaboration agreement in the framework of the Commercial and Trade Mission of the Port of Barcelona to Thailand. The agreement aimed to build and strengthen relationship with this country.

The document focused on training within the industry between the two port communities and was signed by Santiago Garcia-Milà, the Deputy Director General of Strategy and Development of the Port of Barcelona; Emili Sanz, Vice President of FETEIA-OLTRA; Marta Miquel, Chief Business Officer of the Escola Europea Intermodal-Transport; and Witoon Santibunyarat, President of the Thai International Freight Forwarders Association (TIFFA).

Among other things, the document highlighted the intentions and needs of the industry in both ports and recognised the need to build better trained, qualified, and digitalised port communities to improve the commercial relationship between Spain and Thailand, and make transactions more efficient. All of this was supported by the signatories, namely the Port of Barcelona, the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport, the Spanish Freight Forwarders Federation (Federación Española de Transitaris – FETEIA in Spanish) and TIFFA.

Trade mission in Thailand 2022

The meeting with the Thai International Freight Forwarders Association (TIFFA) was accompanied by a working session entitled “Logistics training”. The session organised as part of the port’s trade mission to Thailand together with associations of consignees, customs agents and forwarding agents from both Barcelona and Bangkok. This event helped configure the training programmes that make up the Barcelona port community, and therewith position itself as a model of reference for the port-logistics fabric of Thailand.

In practical terms, the agreement reached envisioned the promotion of joint activities in the field of training and the implementation of a pilot training course in international trade operations, which will focus on trade transactions between Thailand, Europe and Mediterranean countries. Based on the results of this pilot course and the parties’ interest in further developing the relationship, the establishment of a stable collaboration framework for the development of joint courses will be considered, as well as the exchange of students in the frameworks of international projects. As part of this commitment to training Port Virtual Lab was introduced – a simulation tool for a cluster of companies and entities that make up a virtual port community, and that is able to simulate real operations.

Digitalization of operations is a necessity in today’s industries and that is why the Escola Europea has developed this innovative training platform. Both professionals and students of higher education institutions and can experience firsthand activities related to international trade, all the while interacting with our simulated companies. This way, Port Virtual Lab  provides the practitioner with an experiential learning environment from a distance, one in which users are immersed in a creative social space that allows them to design and experience their own training and innovation.

If you would like to know more about the trade mission, or are curious about the new platform, you can check out the platform website (https://www.portvirtuallab.com) or contact us (international@escolaeuropea.eu).

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.

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