History of the Collaborative Network

The history of PLIKA starts with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 and the significant impact it had on the education sector, including training centers. With the need to observe social distancing measures and avoid large gatherings, training centers have been forced to adapt their curricula and educational tools to internet-based systems and hybrid solutions.

One of the most notable changes for training centers is the shift towards e-learning. This involves the use of digital technologies, such as learning management systems, webinars, and video conferencing tools, to deliver educational content to students remotely. As a result, training centers have had to invest in the necessary infrastructure and tools to support online learning.

Managers of training centers have also had to adapt to the changes brought about by the pandemic. They have had to re-think their business models and strategies to ensure that they remain viable in the current environment. This has involved developing new revenue streams, building partnerships with other organizations, and exploring new ways of running training programmes.

For teachers, the shift to online learning has required them to develop new skills and competencies, such as online instructional design and digital content creation. They have also had to learn how to use new technologies and tools effectively to engage with students and deliver high-quality educational content.

Students and parents have also had to adjust to the new reality of online learning. They have had to become more self-directed and motivated to learn independently. They have also had to learn how to use new technologies and tools to access educational content and communicate with their teachers and classmates.

The Escola Europea - Intermodal Transport had just won the European-funded project YEP MED (Programme ENI CBCMED) to provide education in Port-logistics communities across the Mediterranean, to facilitate access to employment for vulnerable groups such as NEETs and women. However, as the project had been defined, it was not feasible. It involved conducting classes, visits, and practical training in companies, and all of this was impossible at the time.

The solution that was found was to develop a platform that would allow students to learn using internet-based tools. They only needed access to the internet and a computer with a browser. The platform was designed using simulated companies, and in this particular project, simulating a freight forwarder carrying out international trade operations. This allowed students to learn about the various elements of these operations and at the same time allowed them to practice as they would have done in a real company. 

The problem turned into an opportunity, and today the platform is a powerful and high-performance educational tool. It facilitates the learning of the structural elements of operations but also promotes the learning of English and its use in commerce. It helps to develop cross-cutting competencies such as teamwork, incident management, time management, imagination, creativity, and countless other skills that we continue to discover today. 

At the same time, it is a great tool for simulating operations and training operators, allowing for a smoother digital transition.