Spain & Italy National Workshops


The national workshop in Spain was held at Fundación Universidad-Empresa ADEIT Building in Valencia, from 6 to 8 October 2015.

It was attended by 12 stakeholder representatives, from Stevedoring Companies Association of the Port of Barcelona (AEEPB) on behalf of National Association of Stevedoring and Shipping Companies (ANESCO), Training responsible from the SAGEPs of the ports of Algeciras, Barcelona, Bilbao and Valencia, and from the Unions.

4. SpainThe workshop was successful and the discussion between participants was rich and fruitful, especially for the training responsible of the different SAGEPs. As for the topics addressed, coordination between national system of qualifications and VET, and the legislation on ports would need further meeting(s) for a discussion in depth, since it is a key issue in Spain.

Among the main findings of the workshop were the following:

  • Stakeholders confirmed that port technology developments are significantly impacting port labour. These new developments are considered as positive (e.g. increase the performance of terminals, enhance safety, upgrade the professional profile of port workers) even though in the ports where automation has been implemented the impacts on port labour have been significant (in terms of amount of manpower needed and recruitment policy). The experiences in Spain in the field of automation are limited, so this could influence the perception of this trend. Stakeholders seemed to be concerned with the medium-long term dramatic impact of automation in the port industry and aware of the fact that not everything can be automated. Participants indicated that even in container handling (which is at the forefront of automation and technological innovation), ultimately the human factor is at the base of every task. Some participants noted that such trends in the port sector are going to produce a restructuring process similar to those that occurred in other industrial sectors;
  • Regarding the training needs from a thematic point of view (what), it was pointed out that by large the most important aspects were those related to ICT and technology tools (e.g. software), followed by new machinery and English language. From an organizational point of view (how), the role of companies in defining training needs (initial and lifelong learning) and the need of train the trainers also emerged.
  • As for the opportunities for port labour to diversify along the port centric transport chain the participants showed in general a skeptical position. Labour mobility from port work to other related sub-sectors of transport and logistics, nowadays is not a topic considered. That is, port work does not export/provide manpower to other related sectors.

Regarding the priorities for Health & Safety at ports:

  • H&S risk prevention is one of the pillars of training in the Spanish ports; by large the most important priority considered was lashing/unlashing, followed by Terminal traffic. Panelists added/specified a priority related to Lashing/unlashing (“Low light conditions in vessels”) which was ranked among the most important; additional priorities highlighted by the panelists were Ergonomics and Suspended cargo. Also considered important were “Overweight containers” and “Toxic/radioactive containers”.


The national workshop in Italy was held at CFLI premises, in Venice port area, from 28 to 29 October 2015.

There were 16 stakeholders’ representatives from Port Authorities, Education and Training Institutions, and Companies. The workshop was also attended by the Project Officer from the EC, Ms. Ioana Statu.

Several debates took place throughout the overall Workshop providing an overview of the national framework as far as training regulation is concerned.

5. ItalyIn particular, the debate focused on how terminal operators, who take care of workforce training, face this issue through National Regulation (for Italy they act according to a national law (L. 84/94) which identifies several Port Authorities as land lord entities).

The other point discussed was that terminal operators, who are in charge of managing education and training activities (according to the different job profiles and competency certifications), need to identify priorities concerning safety, health, specific risks and usage of equipment. Findings of a study conducted by SPISAL (the national prevention hygiene and safety service in workplaces) were presented. This study analysed 14 firms in the port of Venice, to identify risks, such as working at heights, noise, dust pollution and interference risks and assess how they affect port labour.

It was further discussed how Port Authorities can emanate decrees in order to integrate national regulation to close the gap, give a comprehensive framework and improve security for workforce in port.

The bottom line of the final debate was how terminal operators and Port Authorities need to cooperate in order to comply with training needs through Social Dialogue.

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