The most modern Training Center for the Economy of the Sea will be born in Paderne

The most modern training center linked to the Economy of the Sea to be created in Portugal will cost 5 million […]

The most modern training center linked to the Economy of the Sea to be created in Portugal will cost 5 million euros, but it still depends on the approval of the project's application to European funds. This is the «4 Sea International Academy», which will occupy four of the 22 hectares of the former Faceal ceramics factory, in Paderne, in the interior of the municipality of Albufeira.

The project, which was presented last week with a visit to the site, is the responsibility of Martrain, a non-profit cooperative dedicated to training and providing services in the maritime and port sector, and has the support of the Albufeira City Council , which ceded, free of charge, for a period of 40 years, the four hectares of the land of the former Faceal, where the future facilities of the Training Center and the University of Algarve will be built – an entity with which a protocol was signed. with a view to developing cooperation activities, namely in the area of ​​scientific research and technological development.

The most expensive part of the investment will be the construction of the huge tank that will function as an aquatic simulator – and which will be the largest and most complete in Portugal. The tank will have an area of ​​3200 square meters and a maximum depth of 12 meters, and will also have a wave generator.

It is intended, for example, to train very specialized training situations, such as abandoning a submerged helicopter with EBS, Free Fall Lifeboat (simulation of the release of whaleboats into the water), basic course of underwater search or intervention in submerged confined spaces.

Luís Carvalho, pedagogical director of the Association for the Study and Education of the Sea (AEMAR), who has been training in the area for over 26 years, explained that this is "compulsory training for working on most ships or on oil platforms" and that , in Portugal, does not yet exist.

The “4 Sea International Academy” center will use most of the buildings of the former ceramics factory, which are now very ruined due to years of neglect. One of the buildings will be retrofitted to house classrooms and training, a small auditorium, library, dormitory, cafeteria and cafeteria, laundry, laboratories, simulator rooms (bridge and machines) and other support structures, while another will be created. multisport. “We are going to maintain and reconfigure” the existing buildings, but also create new areas, such as the simulator pool and even “a fire-fighting park”, for specific training in this area.

As for the necessary works, Luís Carvalho said that «the main funding of the project will be the European funds», if the application to be presented by Martrain is approved. The "larger slice", he added, "will come from the European Social Fund", since the project's focus is on training.

The simulation tank for specialized training

The work itself is expected to take “a year and a half”, awaiting the project's promoters to start “in the first half of 2018”.

The training centre, which will have two main strands, one for the initial training of young people and the other for specialized training of professionals or future professionals of all functions related to the sea, will have a «maximum capacity» of «500 to 600 students» .

The initial training, added the pedagogical director, will be "pure and hard professional education", for students with the 9th grade and at least 15 years old, who will leave with level 4 of certification and equivalence to the 12th grade. This will be done in Portuguese.

But the specialized training will be given in Portuguese and English, not least because, at this level, the focus of the future «4Sea» will be placed on attracting students from other countries, not only from Europe, but also from Africa and other continents.

Carlos Silva e Sousa, mayor of Albufeira, highlighted the fact that it is a "very ambitious project", "of a national and international character". "We are going to have here the best of science in these matters," predicted the mayor.

In addition to contributing to «dissolving the interiority of Paderne», bringing younger people to the parish, the project also allows «the urban rehabilitation of buildings». Furthermore, stressed the president of Albufeira, it is a training center «with guaranteed employability, in the order of 90 or so percent. Only those who don't want to don't go to work».

For his part, Pedro Ferré, vice-rector of the University of Algarve, underlined the connection of «4Sea» to two of UAlg's research centers – CIMA and CCMAR. “Through postgraduate courses and courses, we will associate ourselves, with our knowledge, with companies,” he added.

The vice-rector also underlined the role of CRIA – UAlg's Entrepreneurship Division, which «has functioned as an intermediary with the stakeholders and defined the typology of financial support».


For his part, Tiago Magalhães, executive director of CCMAR, said that Martrain is “a new partner that will cover training in new areas, in order to empower everyone around it”. "It is important that there is scale in the projects, with strong, diverse partners talking to each other, which is essential in terms of public funding, so that projects can move forward."

The future training center will have highly specialized trainers, modern facilities and technical means to ensure the offer of a range of services and diversified training in operational, safety and environmental aspects linked to port operations, nautical activities and the maritime industry.

The training will take place in a real environment, using simulators (navigation, machines and communications), a specially built tank and workshops equipped with the latest equipment, which, according to the project's promoters, «will maximize the employment in the international market, of Portuguese, namely in oil platforms».

The project will also provide facilities for wintering and naval repair of recreational vessels, with training on the job in key areas for the sector.

The training offer includes universal basic survival training and universal training and its updating, submerged helicopter abandonment training with EBS, familiarization training, Free Fall Lifeboat, basic underwater search course, intervention in submerged confined spaces, handling fire extinguishers, basic safety STCW/2010, resource management in bridge simulator, safety of driving marine machines, safety in port tugs, hotel occupational safety on board safety at work on board ships and safety at work on board RO/RO ships.

Intending to create a «centre of excellence in Portuguese language training with international recognition», «4Sea International Academy» will also be responsible for the creation of «50 to 60 permanent jobs», among administrative staff, employees from other sectors such as cafeteria and specialized trainers.