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Members of the Steering Committee of the Escola Europea

The Escola Europea-Intermodal Transport goes digital to enrich its training model

The Steering Committee of the training center, which met on Wednesday April 21st in Barcelona, has assessed the actions carried out last year and has defined the new strategy for 2021.

The Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport has set itself a clear goal for this year: to intensify digitalisation in order to enrich its training model with the advantages provided by new technologies. This priority objective was approved by the Steering Committee of the Escola in a meeting held this week in in Barcelona.

During 2020, to adapt to the new scenario created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Escola has adapted its structure to the new realities mandated by the health authorities and prepared a different approach for its activities. This path will continue in 2021, with the goal to enrich the courses and to take advantage of the flexibility provided by the new digitised training models.

During the meeting the President of the Escola Europea Mercè Conesa highlighted the enormous difficulties posed by the pandemic, the actions taken to adapt to the new situation and the uncertainties that still remain. Face-to-face training activities suffered a strong setback in 2020, forcing a reevaluation of all training actions.

Among the activities carried out by the Escola Europea during 2020 the start of the European project YEP MED doubtlessly stands out, in which the Port of Barcelona and the Port Authority of Civitavecchia also participate as partners, and which the Escola heads as Lead Partner. Also noteworthy was the inauguration of the Italian headquarters of the Escola Europea and the subsequent start of a new vocational training course in Civitavecchia – with the title of Integrated Logistics Technician – promoted by the Caboto Foundation, the Port Authority of Civitavecchia and the Escola itself, with a programme of 2,050 hours of training carried out over two academic years.

Looking at the Escola’s other activities, it was stressed that the Forma’t al Port courses in Barcelona, and their Italian counterpart the Formati al Porto courses in Civitavecchia, were carried out in a hybrid format, with the collaboration of schools and with very positive results.

Finally, it was pointed out that in 2020 a new project was approved which comprised the development of the PortVirtualLab.com platform, which will support training and simulation activities in logistics-port communities.

The Steering Committee was chaired by Mercè Conesa, President of the Port of Barcelona. Participating in the meeting were Pino Mussolino, new chairman of the Port System Authority of the Central Northern Tyrrhenian Sea; Emilio Signorini, president of the Port Authority of the Western Ligurian Sea; Matteo Catani, CEO of Grandi Navi Velocci, and Eduard Rodés, director of the Escola Europea. The meeting was also attended by the members of the Executive Committee: Catalina Grimalt, from the Port of Barcelona; Luca Lupi, from the Port of Civitavecchia; Silvio Ferrando, from the Port of Genoa; Antonio Pedevila and Andrea Balabani, of GNV, and Mario Massarotti, of the Grimaldi Group.

Forma't al Port Annual Report

Forma’t al Port closes 2020 with a positive outlook for 2021

2020 has been a tricky year for all sectors of society – something felt quite palpably by training centres. Many schools and universities have had to adapt their training methodologies to protect the student and teaching bodies from the deadly virus that has swept through our society. The Escola has adapted its programmes as well, introducing hybrid formats of some of the courses, including for its unique Forma’t al Port programme. Although the online part of the newly re-designed courses sacrificed a little of the Escola’s unique experiential teaching approach – which aims to bring the students closer to the places where the operations physically take place – the hybridisation of it (which entailed offering safely distanced in-person visits of the port facilities) ensured that the students could get a 360° view of port operations.

The Escola’s Forma’t Al Port programme, launched in 2016 – aims to give students of the final years of secondary education in the Catalan region of Spain first-hand knowledge of the Port of Barcelona, its infrastructures, logistical equipment and operations, and to showcase the means of transport they operate. Simultaneously it aims to give companies in the sector a space to introduce the characteristics of their activities and to introduce professional profiles they need in order to develop properly. By working with local companies and training institutions, it also works towards the creation of a framework for dialogue and idea exchanges between the two – therewith ensuring innovation and development in the sector, as well as the alignment between the training needs of companies and the curricula offered by the centres themselves. Finally, the Escola works with the partners of the project to try to encourage the companies to hire students in dual-training programmes, therewith letting them to put a foot through the door of the professional and industry world.

Last year, largely because of the pandemic that led to the postponement of the 2nd part of the Forma’t al Port training, the programme welcomed 454 students from 16 public and private training centres (institutes and universities) in Barcelona, including el Prat de Llobregat, Cerdanyola del Vallès, Mataró, Santa Perpètua de la Mogoda, Sant Adrià del Besòs and La Sènia. All of these students completed the Forma’t al Port – Introduction course, and will wait until the public health situation calms down before continuing on to complete the the Forma’t al Port – Management courses – which are predominanty presential and thus could not be carried out this past year. With a large number of centres determined to continue the collaboration with the Escola, 2021 looks brighter for the programme and will surely bring many more new minds to the logistics and port sector.

The official Annual Report of the project is now available online. You can download the document here or head to the Forma’t al Port website. For more information you can contact: formatalport@escolaeuropea.eu.

Group of Forma't al Port students - January 2021

45 students experience the Port of Barcelona virtually through Forma’t al Port

With Covid-19 is showing no signs of slowing, the Escola Europea continues to hold classes for its students in the digital universe. Between the 20th and the 21st of January the first group of students experienced the infrastructures of the Port of Barcelona and learned about the transport operations that take place therein through the online edition of the Forma’t al Port – Introduction course.

The online format of the courses sacrifices a little of the Escola’s unique experiential teaching approach – which aims to bring the students closer to the places where the operations physically take place – but it nevertheless transmits the expertise of its teachers to the students, by offering a mixture of online tours and videos alongside and theoretical lectures.

The Escola’s first course of 2021 was attended by 45 students from the Jaume Mimó Institute in Catalunya. The students took part in the course as part of their International Trade and Logistics and Transport Vocational Training offered by the Institute. The theoretical classes focused on the operations carried out within the port environment, and introduced an amalgam of different actors active in the Catalan port through the presentations of the associations of the sector. The goal of the programme is to encourage dual-training opportunities and to bring the professional environment closer to young adults about to embark on their first employment experiences.

For more information you can visit the Forma’t al Port website or contact: formatalport@escolaeuropea.eu.

Forma’t al Port courses starts again with a hybrid format

As a direct consequence of Covid-19, many educational institutions have had to rethink their modus operandi. With the majority of operations and activities moving to the virtual world, education has also undergone a major shift into the cyber-sphere.

With this in mind, the Escola has begun to develop materials and programmes that can be carried out in the virtual world. Sacrificing a little of the Escola’s unique experiential teaching approach, the new programmes will aim to transmit the expertise of its teachers to the students, by offering a mixture of online tours and videos, and theoretical lectures.

The first virtual session of the Forma’t al Port courses was held on 28 and 29 October and was attended by 40 students of Vocational Training in International Trade and Logistics and Transport. The theoretical classes focused on the operations carried out within the port environment, and introduced an amalgam of different actors active in the Catalan port through the presentations of the associations of the sector. The goal of the programme is to encourage dual-training opportunities and to bring the professional environment closer to young adults about to embark on their first employment experiences.

Forma't al Port port visit October 2020

Since the launch of the Forma’t al Port project in 2014, the Escola’s doors have seen thousands of young Catalan students pass through its doors in the pursuit of logistics knowledge and professions in the port sector. The courses, aimed at students of the final stages of secondary education, have been incredibly popular and now form part of the Escola’s regular courses. There are two types of courses offered: Forma’t al Port Introduction, which aims to give young students of the secondary schools of Catalonia an introduction to the professions within the Catalan maritime logistics sector; and Forma’t al Port Management – aims to give young students of the secondary schools of Catalonia a thorough understanding of the professions within the maritime logistics sector.

For more information you can visit the Forma’t al Port website or contact: formatalport@escolaeuropea.eu.

The teachers’ legacy

In today’s modern world the true protagonists and heroes are the teachers, and their role in our port-logistics communities in particular is invaluable. I will begin this reflection by recalling a 1999 film that impressed me, entitled “Butterfly’s Tongue” by the magnificent Spanish film director José Luis Cuerda (Albacete 1947 – Madrid 2020), who died on 4 February.

The film gives the account of the life of a teacher from a small village in Galicia (in the North of Spain) who was concerned that his students should acquire knowledge and values. A sympathizer of the Second Spanish Republic, a renovator and a laic, he then finds himself facing the military uprising of July 18, 1936 that alters the life of the village, and marks the beginning of the Civil War.  Cuerda ensured that through the cinematography and the script, the conflicts that were experienced in this small community were clearly represented. In the end the school where the protagonist works becomes a reflection of these tensions and transforms into a place to defence for everyone’s ideas and principles, for better or worse.

The teacher is a central element of the village and of the community, because he or she has contact with the students and the huge responsibility to transmit his or her knowledge and ideas to them. Simultaneously he is conditioned by the parents, who watch and to an extent control what the teacher transmits to ensure that it is in accordance with the generally accepted principles. The teacher and the community jointly embody the basic ingredient of the structuring of collective intelligence and behaviour.

A teacher is a person who helps students acquire knowledge and virtue.

Knowledge

What is knowledge? A generally accepted definition demarcates it as familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such as facts, information, descriptions, or skills, which [can be] acquired through experience or education by perceiving, discovering, or learning. It can refer to a theoretical or practical understanding of a subject. It can be implicit (as with practical skill or expertise) or explicit (as with the theoretical understanding of a subject)[1].

Virtue

What about virtue in that case? Virtue (derived from latin: virtus, Ancient Greek: “arete”) is moral excellence. A virtue is a trait or quality that is deemed to be morally good and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and a reflection of good moral being. Personal virtues are characteristics that promote collective and individual greatness, and specify doing what is right and avoiding what is wrong.

Working on the development of knowledge and virtue through the Forma’t al Port programme (get trained in the port), a question arose that I had not asked myself before: who are the teachers in our community? This then spiraled into subsequent thoughts: do we know them and do they know us? Do we prepare with them the topics that are taught to the students in the academic environment? Do they share our values and our priorities?

The discovery and, certainly to me, surprise, was that so far in the community of the Port of Barcelona – not so much. Close and collaborative relationships between companies and training centres are few and hard to find. The Forma’t al Port programme has definitely been a turning point by favouring quite a few contacts with dual training opportunities through the workshops themselves and through the contact with participating sector associations, which created positive prospects for the students.

In April, an activity called Getting Talent will take place. This event will allow the teachers of the training centres that collaborate with us on a regular basis to come and visit with the companies of the communities for one or two weeks. The idea is to establish a relationship between teachers and professionals that favours such close relationship and the exchange of knowledge, experiences, concerns and expectations, among others. Ultimately it is to advance towards a new reality in which the preparation of people is built by all – what the experts call collaborative training that allows the development of a collective intelligence. Dual training and such teacher’s stage are very likely essential to that type of collaboration.

Collective intelligence emerges from the interaction of similar individuals in daily activities and in problem solving – a regular occurrence in a port community.  It develops the capacity to participate in intellectual cooperation with the goal to create, innovate and invent, and as such should soon be a key determinant of efficiency. It should ultimately be accepted as a challenge that can be understood and effectively addressed by an organisation or sector.[2]

Learning by doing is an excellent strategy for the fostering of collective intelligence. Dual training and the training of teachers and company managers is an excellent way to move forward.  It is a new challenge on which we can all work together.

Get involved and collaborate!

Eduard Rodés

Director

Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport

[1] Wikipedia

[2] Based on the study “Collective Intelligence Education, Enhancing the Collaborative Learning” by Jaime Meza et al. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/325650291

The Port de Barcelona and the Escola Europea reaffirm their commitment to Forma’t al Port

The Port de Barcelona and the Escola Europea-Intermodal Transport reaffirm the Forma’t al Port programme

During the next three years, the Escola will continue to offer practical course-workshops to promote the use of port services, intermodal transport and the improvement of knowledge in the sector.

The Port de Barcelona and the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport have signed a new collaboration agreement for the Forma’t al Port programme, with the goal of organising and coordinating practical courses adapted to the needs of the students coming from local secondary schools and training centres to promote the use of port services, intermodal transport and the improvement of knowledge of the maritime and intermodal sectors.

The Catalan port authority, with the collaboration of the Escola, will be responsible to prepare the training materials related to the educational lectures which will be given as part of the courses. To help offer the training at a reduced price to the students, the Port of Barcelona will offer a contribution in study grants for the duration of this new three-year period of the project.

As part of the programme, an executive and academic committee will be created to ensure quality education and excellence in the programme management. Both the Port and the Escola Europea-Intermodal Transport will assign a representative to the committees to help coordinate and prepare the courses. The organisation and management of the courses and the committees linked to the programme will be carried out by the Escola.

The Escola Europea is a training centre dedicated to provide quality training and education to students and future professionals of the transport sector, with educational programmes tailored to port activities and intermodal transport – to help better understand the sector.

This collaboration, together with that of other public entities, associations and private companies, will help ensure the continuous training of the Barcelona logistics community in order to face the challenges of the future and strategically place Barcelona and Catalonia in the forefront of logistics activities in Europe and the world.

The Port of Barcelona’s commitment to education

With the signing of this agreement, the Port of Barcelona reaffirms its commitment to being a driving force in the country’s economic activity and a generator of employment. To this end, it works to establish partnerships between companies in the Port Community, training centres and administrations in order to improve training and employment; all key aspects to consolidate as a reference point in innovation and sustainability for the region.

Circle of the Sustainable Development Goals - SDG

The Escola reaffirms its commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals

Days away from 2020, the Escola Europea reflects on the achievements made during the year. The Sustainable Development Goals have been set to solidify the urgent changes that society would need to make to tackle social inequality, climate change, poverty, and political turmoil, among others.

With this in light, the Escola’s work in 2019 can be summarised as follows:

  • In 2019, the Escola has organised a staggering 42 courses (nearing one course per week), and welcomed participants from Spain, Belgium, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Morocco, Algeria, Peru, Colombia and Mexico. There was an increase in the number of participants coming from the Magred, which could be explained with the success of the TransLogMED project and the growth of the North African trade networks. In total, 1,485 students passed through the Escola’s doors and took advantage of the unique course-workshops.
  • 2019 also saw the creation and fulfilment of new technical courses. Curricula and course programmes were prepared for the Temperature-Controlled Freight transport Course, detailed plan were made for the Port Operations Summer school (which now took the form of a 2 week course, separated by vessels and goods), and the Groupage and Consolidation Course was further extended. Successful courses were also carried out for the former two technical courses, with a Groupage course planned for the spring of 2020.
  • The Escola’s courses are constantly undergoing improvements and modifications. In 2019 the team created a Log Book to give to the students at the start of each course, which contains tasks, puzzles and activities that further enrich the participants’ experiences.
  • Formati al Porto was officially launched in Italy, demonstrating the huge success the programme has attained in Barcelona and its appeal to other termional communities.
  • The Escola has had it’s first paper published in a conference – the annual World of Shipping International Research Conference on Maritime Affairs. The paper, which can be found here, summarised the current state of experiential training methods in Europe, and provided a quantitative analysis of the approach applied to the Escola’s courses. Thank you to all of the Escola’s partners and alumni who have generously submitted their survey responses to help us carry out the study.

2020 shows all signs of being a very intensive one for the Escola Europea, with technical courses for professionals planned for the spring, the summer school, and the usual MOST courses in the autumn. In the past decade, the organisation has increased its influence in Europe and throughout the Mediterranean through the development of new and innovative courses for students and professionals, the signing of new agreements with influential universities and training centres, and the active participation in European projects, and 2019 has shown that it is continuing to do so, whilst applying the Global Development Goals to its activities.

The College of Customs Agents of Barcelona and the Escola Europea pay tribute to Josep Maria Costa

On the 31st of October, Josep María Costa was recognised by the College of Customs Agents, Customs Representatives of Barcelona and the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport for his work as a teacher in the Forma’t al Port programme and for his lifetime work on the occasion of his retirement.

Costa’s work was recognised in the form of a sculpture that was representative of the programme, one made of a paper boat made of bronze.

The event brought together the President of the College of Customs Agents, Antonio Llobet; José Miguel Masiques, as a new member of the faculty of the programme; Pedro Arellano, the deputy director of the Port of Barcelona; Joaquim Cabané, the president of the training and occupation work group of the Governing Council for the promotion of the Port Community of Barcelona; Eduard Rodés, director of the Escola Europea and Marta Miquel, from the Escola Europea responsible for the Forma’t al Port programme.

Josep Maria Costa has participated as a teacher representing the College of Customs Agents since 2014.  In these years he has presented and analysed the agent profession to about 1240 students from 18 different schools that have participated in the programme during its 5 years. Both entities appreciate and are grateful for his work, which has helped to improve the development of the port community of Barcelona.

For more information, you can contact us at info@escolaeuropea.eu.

Forma't al Port agreement signing

Port of Barcelona and the Escola continue to bet on local students and the Forma’t al Port programme

On the 19th of June, Núria Burguera, Director of Institutional Relations and Communication at the Port of Barcelona, and Eduard Rodés, Director of the Escola Europea, renewed their collaboration agreement wherein the Port of Barcelona reaffirmed its position as a strategic sponsor of the Forma’t al Port programme.

The programme, promoted by the Port of Barcelona itself and sponsored by the Diputació de Barcelona, the Ajuntament de Barcelona, the Escola Europea, and sector associations and companies, continues to be a reference point for local training for students in the transport and logistics and international trade training cycles and, more recently, for students of university degrees in logistics and maritime business, nautical and maritime transport, marine technologies and systems engineering and naval technologies.

Forma’t al Port, through which the port community is opened to students, has already witnessed record participation figures in 2019: 520 students have been able to get to know the Port of Barcelona and its business community through the courses.

The programme will continue in the months of October and November with three Management courses, with Genoa as their destination.

Forma’t al Port encourages the incorporation of students through dual training schemes in companies from the sector, with the ultimate goal of helping to prepare a future logistics community capable of overcoming the strategic challenges of the Catalan region.

For more information, you can visit the programmes dedicated website www.escolaeuropea.eu/format or by writing to: info@escolaeuropea.eu.

Forma't al Port agreement

Facultat de Nàutica signs a collaboration agreement with the Escola Europea under the Forma’t al Port programme

The director of the Escola Europea, Eduard Rodés, and the dean of the Nautical Faculty of Barcelona (Facultat de Nàutica de Barcelona – FNB), Agustí Martín, signed a collaboration agreement in the framework of the Forma’t al Port programme. First-year students of the university degrees offered by the Faculty have already participated in the Forma’t Introduction course during the month of April.

The programme, organized by the Port of Barcelona, the Diputació de Barcelona, the City Council of Barcelona, the Consotrium of the Zona Franca and the Escola Europea opens the port community to students of degrees in Marine Technologies, Nautical and Maritime Transport and Engineering in Naval Technology. In total, 95 students have already participated in the training this year.

The courses organized in this programme help prepare a logistic and port community capable of facing the strategic challenges of the Catalan region.

In the first semester of 2019, the Escola expects to train a total of 500 students of professional training and university degrees.

Thanks to the excellent results obtained last year, the Forma’t al Port programme continues with the objective of helping to position Barcelona and Catalonia in the first line of logistics and port activities in Europe and the world.

For more information, you can visit the webpage of the programme : www.escolaeuropea.eu/format or write to: info@escolaeuropea.eu