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Escola retains popularity with 1700+ students in 2021 despite the pandemic

Distance learning, digitalisation and online courses marked the evolution of the Escola Europea’s courses despite the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, as was outlined during the bi-annual Executive Committee meeting of the institution held on the 29th of November 2021.

The meeting brought together representatives of the 5 founding partners of the Escola – Catalina Grimalt from the Port Authority of Barcelona, Luca Lupi from the Port Authority of Civitavecchia, Silvio Ferrando from the Port Authority of Genoa, Mario Massarotti from Grimaldi Lines and Mr Antonio Pedevilla from GNV. Representing the Escola Europea, the director Eduard Rodés and the Escola’s Chief Operating Officer Concha Palacios attended.

During the meeting, the Escola’s milestones throughout 2021 were highlighted. The global pandemic has had a toll on the organisation, resulting in an overall drop of courses and students in 2021, as well as in changes in staffing. Nevertheless the pandemic did result in some positive outcomes – with the nation-wide health restrictions the organisation was forced to rethink its course strategy which evolved into a more digitalised approach centering around a Virtual PortLab.

The Escola’s team looked at the evolution of the Escola’s courses and noted that although the organisation has not quite recovered from the drop in 2020, the number of courses has increased to nearly pre-pandemic levels – boding well for the prospects for 2022. In-person courses also restarted in the summer of 2021 as a response to the high demand from partnering universities and educational institutions. This bodes well for the Escola, and the forecast for the coming year is to double the number of courses offered to satisfy this demand.

Towards the end of the year the first edition of the GLIPS (Management of Integrated Logistics and Shipping Processes) course took place as part of the MOST Italy series – which brought 35 professionals from Civitavecchia to Barcelona during the course-workshop and further strengthened the Escola’s commitment to vocational training. Throughout the pandemic the Escola successfully managed to offer Forma’t al Port and the Formati al Porto courses to both Italian and Catalan youth, ensuring the institution’s resilience to unforeseen crises.

During the Committee meeting, a review took place of the projects that the Escola is currently involved in and has planned for 2022. Two ENI CBC Med projects were summarised – YEP MED, in which the Escola is a lead partner, and TechLog. The projects aim to revolutionise the training methodologies offered to young people wanted to enter the port-logistics sector in an increasingly digitised world. Any other new projects under preparation were then presented in advance of their submissions to the European organisations.

2022 looked even brighter in the now newly digitised world of the Escola as the meeting came to a close. The PortVirtualLab platform – initially developed to help support the YEP MED courses as digital learning took center stage in 2020 – will continue to be developed in the coming year with the addition of training profiles of Ship Consignees and Trucking companies. As the platform nears its completion, it will become essential in simulator training for port logistics professionals. The platform serves as a digital copy of real-world port operations, allowing users the flexibility of carrying out transport transactions without the fear of impacting real trade.

The Executive Committee meets twice a year to review the progress and achievements of the Escola Europea’s operations. Its next meeting will take place in the first quarter of 2022.

Group Photo - Participants of the September MOST course

Autumn courses bring a hint of normalcy back to the Escola’s MOST courses

It has been a difficult 2020-2021 for most of us – with many having to completely reshape and rethink their operations in a newly virtual environment. The Escola has spent a big part of last year and the first half of 2021 offering our signature courses through the Google Classroom lens – hoping to try to bring the Escola’s signature experiential approach to the net. The longing for the traditional approach has not disappeared, however, and both the Escola and the centres have waited for the health crisis to diminish and for on-board courses to be deemed safe again. This moment has arrived in the second semester of 2021.

Having completed one on-board MOST course in the summer, the Escola started the autumn courses with a hybrid MOST courses for students of the Master in Supply Chain Management from the EAE Business School which took place between the 10th and the 16th of September. The course offered online lectures in intermodal logistics and transport operations, as well as had in-person visits to terminals around the Port of Barcelona and a stationed Ro-Pax vessel to visualise the operations first-hand. In total, 13 students could attend the training both online and in person.

“Very well organised and dynamic course. It was very interesting to be able to focus on new proposals for the future and new trends. – Juliene Maksene de EMSUR – EAE course”

This course was then followed by an on-board traditional MOST course that took place between the 18th and the 21st of September. 29 students from the Polytechnic University of Catalunya and Nautical Faculty of Barcelona took part in the training that took place on board of a Ro-Pax shipping vessel between the ports of Barcelona (Spain) and Civitavecchia (Italy). Following the Escola’s signature approach, the students got the opportunity to witness an intermodal transport journey first hand, whilst also learning about the concepts of intermodal transport, transport costs, sustainability, and new technologies. The teachers of the Escola Europea on this occasion were Marta Miquel, the Chief Operating Officer, Antonio Vargas, representing Grimaldi Lines and Eduard Rodés, as course director.

The next month will see the Escola, together with the council of the Prat de Llobregat and Barcelona Activa, organise 3 courses in intermodal transport and port administrations. These courses, which will be carried out online – with an inclusion of some in-person visits to the local port terminals – will provide an all-encompassing overview of the port logistics community and the administrative processes that surround transport operations within a port environment – and will be offered for free for young people and women wishing to find employment in the local port sector. They form part of the training offered under the YEP MED project, which is co-funded by the ENI CBC Med instrument of the European Union.

Diploma ceremony held on the 3rd of July 2021

Escola’s restarts its MOST courses

Last Saturday, on the 3rd of July, the intermodal transport course “Motorways of the Sea training – MOST” started in Barcelona. In total, thirty five students from 11 different nationalities studying Master’s programmes in Logistics and International Trade, Internationalisation of SMEs and Customs Law and Management at the University of Barcelona participated in the 4-day long training.

The day began with a solemn ceremony to present diplomas to some 100 graduates which, exceptionally and due to health safety measures, was held outdoors in front of the Escola Europea’s headquarters, at Placeta de l’Areté, Terminal Drassanes on the Moll de Barcelona.  On behalf of the Port of Barcelona and the Escola, its director, Eduard Rodés, welcomed the participants.  On behalf of the University of Barcelona, Dr. Oscar Mascarilla, director of the Master’s programmes, spoke. The Honourable Ramon Tremosa, Minister of Business and Knowledge of the Generalitat de Catalunya until a few weeks ago, supported the event and addressed the students, encouraging them to put their knowledge at the service of the competitiveness of their respective countries. Afterwards, the participants and their accompanying family members made a maritime visit to the Port of Barcelona.

The MOST course started early in the afternoon on the same day, and the group departed for Civitavecchia – the port of Rome – on board of the Grimaldi RO-PAX vessel “Cruise Barcelona”. The teachers of the Escola Europea on this occasion were Marta Miquel, the Chief Operating Officer, Antonio Vargas, representing Grimaldi Lines and Eduard Rodés, as course director.

Simultaneously, the first two weeks of July saw the start of the Escola’s annual Summer School in Port Operations for Vessels and for Goods. The course is held in classroom in-person format with the participation of 16 students from Egypt, Yemen and Somalia.

The MOST course is the first on-board course that the Escola was able to hold since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. It is a promising sign showing the ability of the Escola to begin to bring its unique experiential courses back into play.

Escola Europea's Executive Committee meeting - January 2021

1000+ students pass through the Escola’s doors in 2020 despite the pandemic

Distance learning, digitalisation and online courses will mark the evolution of the Escola Europea in the near future, as was found during the bi-annual Executive Committee meeting on the 21st of January 2021.

The meeting brought together representatives of the 5 founding partners of the Escola – Catalina Grimalt from the Port Authority of Barcelona, Luca Lupi from the Port Authority of Civitavecchia, Silvio Ferrando from the Port Authority of Genoa, Mario Massarotti from Grimaldi Lines and Mr Antonio Pedevilla from GNV. Representing the Escola Europea, the director Eduard Rodés who also serves as the president of the Committee and the Escola’s Chief Financial Officer Concha Palacios – the Committee’s secretary – attended.

During the meeting various milestones of the Escola’s difficult 2020 were reviews. The Covid-19 pandemic had brought the activities of the Escola to nearly a standstill from March 2020 through the summer. A nearly existential shift took place to restructure the Escola’s iconic practical workshop courses to fit the new distance-learning and virtual environment. Nevertheless, there were some important achievements that took place despite the obstacles. More than 1000 students have managed to pass through the Escola’s doors through 19 courses and 12 Logistic Port Workshops. More than 20 scheduled practical courses had to be postponed to an unspecified date due to the global health crisis – a grim conclusion to an already grim 2020.

During the Committee meeting, a review took place of the projects that the Escola is currently involved in and has planned for 2021. A new training course for members of the MEDPorts Association focused on Energy Transition in Ports s is currently in the works, scheduled to take place either virtually or, if the situation permits, in person in May and June 2021. The Escola’s leadership participation in the YEP MED project, co-financed by the European Union, was also highlighted. A new project – called TechLog, was also summarised – this project is currently in the consideration stage of the ENI call for proposals. The Escola’s role in other projects, including RePort as well as the projects it is managing on behalf of the Port of Barcelona such as the CarEsmatic and Core LNGas hive projects, was also highlighted.

The future looked even brighter in the now newly digitised world of the Escola as the meeting came to a close. Eduard Rodés highlighted the upcoming new collaboration with the Occitan Region of the South of France in the new “Vivez l’intermodalité” project – an expansion of the Forma’t al Port in France. Moreover, the development of a new Virtual Lab, brought to life through the YEP MED project characteristics, is looking to bring new life to the TransLogMed project in 2021.

The Executive Committee meets twice a year to review the progress and achievements of the Escola Europea’s operations. Its next meeting will take place in November 2021.

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 Escola Europea closes the year with a course for North African professionals

Over the past week the Escola Europea has organised the MOST MED course which brought together professionals from three countries from the Magreb: Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. The training took place between the 16th and the 19th of December, and welcomed representatives from the port and logistics sectors. The goal was to explain, promote and debate the intermodal services and the motorways of the sea in the Mediterranean.

The course was organised in the framework of the TransLogMED project. The Escola is the leader of the initiative which aims to extend links with countries from the Magreb.

The individuals came both from private companies and public institutions, and thanks to their varied nationalities, the attendees were able to analyse different scenarios from each of the three countries. From Algeria members of the l’École Nationale Supérieure de Technologie (ENST), Groupe Serport and Logitrans Groupe took part. From Morocco, professionals from the Agence Marocaine de Développement de la Logistique, Association des Freights Forwarders du Maroc and UNISHIP came to the training. Finally, from Tunisia representatives of the Office of the Marine Marchande et des Ports, Groupe- Societé Tunisienne de Transit d’Agences et de Transport, Societé Tunisienne d’Acconage et de Manutention, Groupe des Manutentionnaires de Sfax, Institut Méditerranéen de Formation Aux Métiers Maritimes and the Ministry of Transport attended.

This final course marks the end of a busy year for the Escola, which witnessed 83 training actions, among which 35 were courses and 48 were visits – workshops in the Ports of Barcelona, Genoa and Civitavecchia, and on board of the vessels of Grimaldi Lines and GNV.

The Escola has welcomed more than 1200 students in its courses this past year, and more than 1800 individuals participated in the visits – workshops. Overall, a total of 32 training centres with students spanning 45 different nationalities have participated in the Escola’s training actions in 2018.

GNV vessel Excelsior becomes certified as a classroom for the Motorways of the Sea Training (MOST) courses

This December Marta Miquel, Chief Business Officer of the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport, delivered the Arete metope to certify the Excelsior vessel of the shipping company Grandi Navi Veloci (GNV), which operates the Tangier-Barcelona-Genoa route, as a classroom of the Training Centre. The certificate has been delivered to Commander Alessandro Fantini and Valerio Esposito, the GNV representatives in Barcelona, ​​and has immediately been placed in a pre-eminent place on the bridge of the vessel. This certificate indicates that the vessel meets the quality requirements established by the Escola to host the MOST courses (Motorways of the Sea Training).

The Arete award comes from the Greek word for “excellence” (Ἀρετή). In ancient Greece it was an important part of the education of young Athenians (Paideia). It included physical training, for which the gymnasion was created, and mental training, which gave the population skills of oratory, rhetoric, basic sciences and spiritual formation. All these disciplines serve as inspiration for the Escola, which emphasizes that the vessels in which the courses take place must be able to adapt to this type of training (updated with the requirements of modern training).

Other recipients of this award include the Cruise Rome and Cruise Barcelona vessels of Grimaldi Lines, the GNV vessel Fantastic, Tanit from Cotunav, the Aula dels Estels at the Drassanes terminal and the Europa classroom at the BEST terminal (both in Barcelona).

The Escola Europea promotes short sea shipping and sustainable transport at Spain’s biggest logistics fair – SIL

The Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport has participated in the International Logistics Show of Barcelona – the annual logistics fair in Spain. Sharing a stand with one of its main shareholders –the Port of Barcelona­-, the Escola presented its training offer for the second semester of 2018 and promoted some of its projects; highlighting the growing influence and success of TransLogMED and Forma’t al Port.

In a presentation held on the last day of the fair, Ricardo Garcia highlighted the importance of short sea shipping and the motorways of the sea in the continued development of the Mediterranean corridor and the need to improve sustainable transport. With this in mind, the Escola has launched the TransLogMED project jointly with the Union for the Mediterranean. Through the promotion of international cooperation in transport transactions and by providing training in intermodal transport that knows no borders, the project aims to enhance the competencies and capabilities of transport and logistics operators from the Northern and Southern shores of the Mediterranean basin. The project has a scheduled lifeline of four years and will organise conferences and courses to implement its objectives.

In terms of its training offer, in the summer months the Escola will hold the second edition of its technical training for professionals, focused on Groupage Operations and Consolidation Centres (18-20 of June). This course will be followed by an edition of Escola’s SURCO Operations I, focusing on rail- maritime intermodality, which will take place in Barcelona between the 2nd and 4th of July. In mid-July it will be the time of the Escola’s first ever Summer School on Port Operations (9-13 of July), a course designed for all kinds of profiles, professional, academic or vocational. Finally, in the autumn, two editions of the Escola’s unique Motorways of the Sea Training (MOST) course will take place. The first of these, MOST Italy, will take place between the 29th of September and the 2nd of October and will focus on the intermodal routes with short sea shipping maritime links in Italy. The second course MOST Iberia (20-23 October) will take a closer look at the intermodal transport situation across the Iberian peninsula.

The Escola has been complementing its intermodal training package with the Forma’t al Port project, whose goal is to bring young students closer to the professional field of the port communities. For the past three years the Escola has worked with Catalan training centres on professional work experience programmes. The courses have been hugely successful and will now be extended to Italian centres through a sister project Formati al Porto.

The Escola Europea to promote intermodal and sustainable transport

The Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport will once again participate in the International Logistics Salon of Barcelona – the annual logistics fair in Spain.

Sharing a stand with one of its main shareholders –the Port of Barcelona­, the Escola will present its training offer for the second semester of 2018 and promote some of its projects; highlighting the growing influence and success of TransLogMED and Forma’t al Port.

In the summer months the Escola will hold the second edition of its technical training for professionals, focussed on Groupage operations and Consolidation Centres (18-20 of June). This course will be followed by an edition of Escola’s SURCO Operations I, focusing on rail- maritime intermodality, which will take place in Barcelona between the 2nd and 4th of July. In mid-July it will be the time of the Escola’s first ever Summer School on Port Operations (9-13 of July), a course designed for all kinds of profiles, professional, academic or vocational.

In autumn three editions of the Escola’s unique Motorways of the Sea Training (MOST) course will take place. The first of these, MOST Italy, will take place in September and will focus on the intermodal routes with short sea shipping maritime links in Italy. The second course MOST Iberia will take a closer look at the intermodal transport situation across the Iberian peninsula.

The Escola has been complementing its intermodal training package with the local Forma’t al Port project, whose goal is to bring young student closer to the professional ambience of the port communities. For the past three years the Escola has worked with Catalan training centres on professional work experience programmes. The courses have been hugely successful and will now be extended to Italian centres through a sister project Formati al Porto.

The other project to be promoted at SIL is TransLogMED. Through the promotion of international cooperation in transport transactions and by providing training in intermodal transport that knows no borders, the project aims to enhance the competencies and capabilities of transport and logistics operators from the Northern and Southern shores of the Mediterranean basin.

To find out more, come meet us at SIL at the stand D448 – E557. Alternatively you can write to info@escolaeuropea.eu.

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