Tag Archive for: Port community
On the 15th anniversary of the Escola Europea…
-“Farewell,” said the little prince sadly.
-“Farewell,” said the fox. “Here is my secret:
Only with the heart can one see well; the most important is invisible to the eyes”.
-“Only with the heart… What is most important is invisible to the eyes….”
– repeated the little prince to remind himself.
-“What makes your rose important is the time you have devoted to it.”
-“It is the time I have devoted to it…” repeated the little prince in order to remember it.
-“Men have forgotten this great truth,” said the fox. “You must not forget it! You are responsible, forever, for what you have cared for. You are responsible for your rose…..”
-“I am responsible for my rose!” -repeated the little prince to remind himself of it.
The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
“We learn together” is a declaration of principles and an arrow into the heart of someone who has dedicated a large part of their professional life to education and training. In 2017, the BBVA bank, in collaboration with the Spanish newspaper El País, launched the educational project “Let’s learn together”, which aimed to pave the way for a better life, and which materialised in a series of easily accessible videos on the internet featuring interviews, stories and workshops with the participation of well-known people in the field of education, teachers, intellectuals and a long etcetera. It was a marvel that I recommend without reservation. In one of them, Nuccio Ordine, a professor at the University of Calabria and writer, takes part. In a brilliant talk, he quotes several times from The Little Prince to refer to the relationship between people and the cultivation of these relationships. In doing so, he refers to the passage of the encounter between the little prince and the desert fox. I wanted to begin this article by taking the last part of the encounter in which beautiful things happen. The first thing is that it tells us is that what is most important is invisible to our eyes. We already knew that, but we need to be reminded of it often so as not to forget it. Secondly, that what is important is what we have dedicated our time to, the scarcest and most precious resource we have. And that when we have established an emotional bond with the other, we are also responsible for it.
Think for a moment that the rose is our Port Community. With it, with its members, we can have a distant and indefinite relationship. Or, alternatively, a close relationship with strong ties in which we recognise and need each other. One in which we collaborate and help each other, without ceasing to compete in what we must compete in. To get to know each other we have to spend time with each other in reciprocity, including education.
To build this relationship we need time, rituals, symbols, and values to share and to recognise each other. I hardly ever talk about time because it is generally interpreted from the point of view of the priority that we give to things. In other words, we have time for what interests us, and we prioritise it as such. Rituals, on the other hand are more subtle. They are articulated by joint activities that are carried out. Here I would highlight the Port Community Governing Council. The working groups that have sprouted over the years play a fundamental role. One of the most effective, in my opinion, groups is the Telematic Forum, to which I belonged for many years, and which plays a fundamental coordinating role in the smooth running of the sector’s operations. In recent years, I have promoted what is now the Occupation and Training Working Group, in which the main actors of a Port Logistics Community participate and are represented together with representatives from the world of employment and education – members who have never before maintained a direct and continuous link with the port. This benefits everyone. It is a clear example of the PPP (public private partnership) that has characterised the way many of the western port communities have operated in terms of port development investments for decades. And it is through these groups that we can say that we learn together.
I have long maintained that these relationships produce synapses and shape a collective intelligence that enriches us and makes us stronger. The Port of Barcelona‘s Strategic Plan identifies competition between gateway logistics chains as the fundamental factor for the future. In my opinion, this involves competition between logistics-port communities, which must be capable of creating solutions that adapt to the needs of each moment, through a dynamic disappearance process, and altered to the evolutionary needs of the market. This is something that John Gattorna defined as living supply chains. These communities must increasingly become so, also from an international point of view. Our trade missions must serve to promote real cooperation between operators in each port. This will certainly involve setting up systems that allow for permanent and sustained contact over time. The recent cooperation agreement between the Port of Barcelona and the Port of Busan in South Korea serves as a good example of the start of a network with such characteristics.
In 2022 an event took place that I believe will mark a turning point in relations in the world of education and that will become a symbol in time. With the start of a new academic year it was announced that, after the summer, a public high school will be set up in the port. It will offer a higher degree in logistics, transport and international trade. It will extend the training to cover everything from initial training to occupational training. My idea for this institute in the port is that companies should be involved from the beginning. The training should be dual, and students should do part of their training inside the companies. It will also be essentials for the teachers to be able to make short visits to the companies to meet the people who manage them and to discover their day-to-day operations first-hand. Moreover, the professionals from these companies should also be occasional teachers at the high school. This would allow the students to gain knowledge directly from the sources of the information.
Ideally I would also like for it to be a great centre of education that defends values. That we would all be able to learn and educate together, with shared responsibilities and commitment. At the Escola we have always said that we provide education and values that identify with creativity, innovation, dialogue, self-determination, work, commitment to people and the environment, and knowledge. We hope that we can help everyone share such goals’ and that the effort will make us stand out for having tried to do things well.
“My flower perfumed my planet …
I couldn’t understand anything then! I should have judged her by her actions and not by her words. She perfumed and illuminated my life! I shouldn’t have run away! I didn’t know how to recognise the tenderness behind her poor astuteness! Flowers are so contradictory! And… I was too young to know how to love her”.
The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Learning and moving forward together is the challenge that we must work towards, because together we are strong. Building our Community has to be a priority and that means dedicating time and effort to it. We need to be aware of its contradictions and shortcomings, and appreciate what it does for us. Even if we may find it hard to recognise and sometimes only become aware when we go out to other ports in the world. We have a treasure that we must nurture in order to continue learning together.
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: email@example.com.
As we close 2020, we can reflect on the fact that the year has been far from what we expected it to be. It is obvious that the pandemic, which began to ravage our societies in 2019 but fully accelerated in March of 2020, has brought our daily lives to a standstill, and has therewith marked a before and, above all, an after in our personal and professional lives, in the way we do business and in the way our sector has to face the future from now on.
Although it seems that the year will end with significant economic pitfalls for many companies, it is not all bleak. It is now evident that the virus will have also contributed significantly towards the advancement of various key aspects of the logistics-port community: the digitalisation of the sector, the resilience of the services and its commitment to the environment. These are all strategic lines of work to which Covid-19 has given a boost and in which, now more than ever, it is necessary to continue working in the training circle of those who are working in the sector and future professionals, equipping them with the (potentially new) appropriate skills.
As an essential sector, the logistics-port community has been able to rise to the unusual occasion. It showed that the specialisation of companies contributes to quality solutions and, in this case, adapts accurately and rapidly to shifting realities. This requires teams of people with extensive knowledge of the logistics sector and international trade and who, despite being knowledgeable about the different branches or disciplines of trade, must be constantly re-trained to offer services that meet the needs of society and the evolution of the sector. These can range from the most theoretical aspects, which help to develop operations correctly, to teamwork abilities and digital literacy, which would ensure the proper and efficient use of new digital tools.
It cannot be denied that our community has already been working for decades towards the digitalisation of processes for the integration of operations at local levels and the facilitation of communications at international levels, and that the creation of Port Community Systems and the integration of maritime-port single windows have greatly sped up the interaction between the community’s actors. However, it is necessary to continue to move towards systems which allow the integration not only of port processes but also of elements of all facets of international trade and of the supply chain. For example, the use of digital documentation or single customs windows could be further developed and implemented universally across the European region. This is only the first step towards a sector in which not only data is exchanged, but also treated as “big data” and where added value can be obtained from the information collected for the improvement of the efficiency of our operations, making use of artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things.
These digital improvements will help companies and their workers optimise resources, be more efficient and, consequently, reduce the impact of operations on society and the environment. However, we do not have to leave these decisions to one algorithm or one machine alone. New guidelines such as the GREEN DEAL and the proposed climate law at European level mean that environmental concerns are increasingly linked to our economy and our sector, calling for more intermodality, new fuels and alternate energy sources, and the application of stricter standards. The transport sector, considered to be one of the sectors with the greatest impact on the environment, will have to adapt to the restrictions on the limits of emissions. It is essential that the actors of our community are aware of both the impact they generate and the possibility of protecting the environment from additional emissions with the decisions they make. Once again, training becomes a key tool to provide all those involved in operations with the means to calculate and diminish this impact, which ranges from efficient truck driving to calculating and assessing emissions.
In this line, the Mediterranean project YEP MED puts these three main axes of relay in the front lens when the sector needs it the most. The project, led by the Escola Europea, will receive approximately 3 million euros in funding from the European Union (90% of its overall costs). It aims to align the needs of the logistics-port sector with the training of the sector participants, all through a training modality centred around a virtual lab, and ultimately improving employability in the sector. Focusing on young people NEETs and women, the project looks to advance our sector in the Mediterranean beyond 2020.
Thanks to the involvement of 8 logistics communities in the North and South of the Mediterranean, the region will be able to move towards a future with less unemployment, more digitalisation, less inequality between genders, and a greater reduction in emissions, demonstrating that the sector not only adapts to any situation, but also provides alternatives which make the logistics-port communities more committed to the economic, social and environmental progress.
You, as one of our Alumni, have decided to be part of this community, and it’s now your turn to make it happen.
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.
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.