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Published on 28 de June, 2018 at Cities and Regions

The maritime sector salutes you

By Francesc Quintana
3 min read

One of the most recent jobs we have has been the search and definition of professional profiles on the maritime sector. This has been a contribution to the most developed and accurate professional guidance tool for people who want to enter the labor market or change their jobs: the web Barcelona Treball from Barcelona Activa, the local development agency of the city.

The academic and professional guidance system

Often, we refer to the system of professional guidance as a failure because of high level of youth unemployment, significant dropout rates in post-compulsory education and the ninis reservoir.

But what is the academic and professional guidance system? Very briefly, we could define it as the set of informative, training and knowledge resources that public administration and society make available to people who have completed their compulsory education stage at 16 years old, but not exclusively. A 16 years old person has to choose between 5 alternatives: he can enter the labor market; he can study baccalaureate; he can follow VET studies or he can follow special education programes in case he fails in completing his compulsory education. You can also undertake a training trip abroad. The aim of the academic and professional guidance system is to help decision-making process in order to be successful.

However, a person not only requires a system of academic and professional guidance when he is 16 years old. Often, most people will need support when changing their professional career, because they have lost their jobs or because they try new training course. Having a good system of academic and professional guidance is a key question in a knowledge-based economy.

Academic and professional guidance means local development

One of the key pieces for the academic and professional guidance system in our country is the Barcelona Treball website. Over the years, this tool has become an international benchmark. There are more than 1,000 jobs distributed among economic sectors. The website has several guidance resources -sectoral reports, videos, lists of personal competences linked to each job- that helps to identify professional interests and informs about qualification requirements to access a specific occupation.

To keep this tool up-to-date, it is necessary to regularly ask companies about jobs, their demands and evolution. To carry out this task, Barcelona Activa works with consulting firms.

The maritime sector

U·TRANS we were eager to do this job right.  We already had experience in defining occupations, competencies and professional profiles, and in dealing with corporations and with business clusters. We are also keen to deal with the education system, and maritime sector was not unknown to us. More exactly, it was a challenge to work for Barcelona Activa in a sector of economic activity lacking visibility and articulation.

The method consisted of conducting in-depth interviews with so many companies as we were able to meet, accordingly with the time we had to finish the job. It is always difficult for businesses to arrange a meeting during their working hours, and some companies make it easier than others. The administrative jargon of official bodies does not fit well with professional jargon used in maritime companies. Even, sometimes it is hard to make an understandable description of the workplace, described in comprehensible terms beyond the strict professional maritime field. Therefore, the consultancy firm must act as “translator” between the academic and professional guidance tools and the demands of companies.


On June the 20th, 2018 the project was presented together with Fundació Barcelona FP. For the first time, the maritime sector has become visible by itself and has been given an intuitive, easy-to-understand internal structure to the general purpose of professional guidance. Therefore, the maritime sector or  blue economy is taking strength and visibility as a field of labor opportunities. Have a look at the report and see the video that identifies the maritime sector.

Additionally, from now on, the Barcelona Treball website will show the maritime sector as such and 53 jobs are described:

  • 19 jobs were on the Barcelona Treball website and have been updated
  • 11 jobs have been turned into the blue economy, since they were already on the Barcelona Treball website
  • 23 jobs have been created

At U·TRANS we hope we have made a significant contribution to the academic and professional guidance system and that employment in the maritime sector will go forward.

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