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SWP3.2 | Life-long learning initiative

Introduction
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In addition to the issue of qualified personnel, inland waterway transport is underrepresented in general logistics education. Education and training materials are often either lacking or outdated. Consequently, new generations of logistics service providers and decision makers are not aware of the opportunities offered by the inland waterway system.

Objectives
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The aim of this Sub-Work Package is to strengthen the role of IWT in the general logistics training system by providing up-to-date learning content and tools. PLATINA will also support the harmonisation of education for boatmen and boatmasters and offer life-long learning opportunities.

Description of work
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PLATINA strengthens the transfer of knowledge between all relevant parties in the long term by collecting, translating and exchanging learning material, start-up support for student and teacher exchanges, and identifying opportunities for the setup and preparation of joint projects for instance financed from ESF funds.

This task contributes to the integration of IWT in general logistics education by identifying relevant logistics educational institutions and curricula on different education levels, collecting and elaborating teaching content for logistics education, disseminating interactive learning and multimedia tools with an emphasis on the integration of inland navigation into multimodal supply chains (e.g. EWITA web-platforms).

Achievements January-May 2011
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The WP 3 team prepared an exchange handbook which was handed over to EDINNA. An exchange of teachers and students is planned for May 2011 and is realised by the EDINNA Leonardo working group. A joint team of Belgian and French students and teachers will sail on the Belgian training vessel from Huy to Paris and exchange practical knowledge.

In addition, this task foresees the establishment of a web-database of common IWT learning materials (D 3.10). The main aim is to provide a platform for IWT educational and training institutes to exchange learning materials on different subject matters for different levels.

The team decided to integrate the web-database of learning materials into the EDINNA website on www.edinna.eu as this proves an easy to access tool for the inland navigation education and training institutes. The main aim of this Deliverable is to provide the structural basis for the further development of the STCIN and later on respective course manuals. The idea of integrating a forum as a “Community of Practice” which would allow for an active exchange of documents and interactive questions is currently discussed with regards to technical and financial feasibility.

In addition, the team decided to collect basic information on IWT for general logistics education providers as the research for D 3.6 – Inventory of IWT related logistics education institutions and training content showed a great interest in IWT-related learning materials. Partners are currently collecting information such as maps and charts, facts and figures and interactive learning materials. The idea is to provide interested stakeholders with a “one stop shop” where suitable class materials can be easily accessed.

Extensive research was carried out by the WP 3 team in order to find out which IWT-related topics are covered in the general logistics education at vocational colleges, universities, universities of applied sciences and other training Institutes throughout the countries belonging to the interconnected European waterway network. Apart from very few exceptions, it was concluded that IWT is generally underrepresented in general logistics education which manifests the need for a strong improvement of such situation.

Replies to questionnaires often showed a genuine interest in IWT-related topics and in many cases included the request to provide up-to-date learning and teaching materials on IWT. A list of topics relevant for each target group has been assembled as well as practical implementation tools.

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Katja Wenkel (Assistant to the Managing Director, AdB) is a lawyer specialised in international private law and dispute resolution. She represents German and international inland navigation in the Sectoral Social Dialogue organised by the European Commission. Katja is a native speaker of German and is fluent in English.






3 questions to Katja Wenkel

  • What do you like most about your work?
    I enjoy working on cross border topics and activities. Every day there is something new
  • If you could have one wish for inland navigation, what would it be?
    I would wish for a higher share of the modal split  and a greater public awareness of the advantages of IWT
  • What does PLATINA do for you?
    It provides me with interesting interaction with European colleagues