The Port of Dublin has been awarded this year’s ESPO Award in recognition of his strategies in making schools and universities aware of their local port and its activities. The jury of the ESPO Award also decided to grant the Port of Guadeloupe with a special mention for the project ‘Discovering my port’.
Dublin and Guadeloupe were presented with the Award at a ceremony in Brussels on Tuesday night.
Opening the ESPO award ceremony, ESPO’s Chairman Santiago Garcia-Mila said: “Today we are living in a quickly evolving world. Business and society changes dramatically. This means that workforce skills and requirements have to adapt accordingly. Jobs that exist today, did not exist ten years ago. Ports in Europe have to follow this trend: new equipment, changes in volumes, bigger size of vessels, further globalisation, transport digitalisation, new environmental rules, security challenges, the energy transition. All imply new skills, new challenges but also new opportunities. By explaining the wide variety of skills they need, port authorities can help the local youth to prepare for life after school and to succeed in this rapidly evolving world. They can also help schools and universities to tailor their programmes to the needs on the job market and to deliver more value to their students”.
The theme of this year’s ESPO Award was Engagement with local schools and universities. Dublin Port Company won the 2015 Award for its project, Port Communities Educational Support Programme, which helps increase employment options within the disadvantaged communities that provided the port’s workforce in the past. The programme includes Early Learning Initiatives, Technology in schools, Scholarships Programme and support to sport teams. The educational programme is a response to when port communities in Dublin have been impoverished by the great reduction in employment opportunities caused by the industrialisation of cargo handling beginning in the 1960’s with the growth of unitised freight.
“We are delighted in Dublin Port to have our efforts engaging with local schools and universities recognised by ESPO. The ESPO Award is a prestigious recognition by our peers in the port industry across Europe of our efforts in Dublin to achieve a greater unity between the port, the city and local communities through the medium of education. I have always been impressed by the quality and the number of submissions for the ESPO awards and for Dublin to be recognised this year is a tremendous endorsement. It is also a great motivator for us to continue to work more generally to achieve the objectives of ESPO’s Code of Practice on Societal Integration of Ports.To win the ESPO Award 2015 is very much a case of primus inter pares.” said Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive, Dublin Port Company Port Company.
The Port of Guadeloupe received a special mention from the jury with its project ‘Discovering my port’. The objective of the project is to create a favourable context to help others learn about the importance of port-related activities in an island environment, about the impact of those activities on the local economy and about the development plans and the port commitment to preserve the environment. The project is part of a 360-degree approach focusing on young people.
The ESPO Award 2015 saw 22 projects from ports from all over Europe compete for the prize. Dublin and Guadeloupe beat shortlisted projects from the ports of Antwerp, Bremen and Valencia.