Capacity building program in seaport engineering and operation at Makassar New Port

Nine people wearing hard hats and giving thumbs up sign while standing in front of a port crane

Indonesia has ambitions to become a major sea power, and to do that, it will need to have an emerging workforce that has the skills and capacity to meet the demands of an international industry. The Makassar New Port in the province of South Sulawesi provides a case study for this forward-looking national policy.

The goal of this study is to identify gaps in the knowledge and skills of young workers in port engineering and operations by comparing their existing knowledge and skills with the industry’s expectations.

Our findings suggest that while the technical knowledge and abilities of young workers generally meet the basic requirements, there are still general skills and competencies that need improvement, particularly in promoting gender diversity and social inclusiveness to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Our study has two key areas of focus, the first relating to demographics and the second relating to skills.

Our research found the port workforce is relatively young and male. The proportion of males is 75 percent among operational workers and 89.47 percent among those working in engineering. Workers aged 25 to 40 years represent half the number of operational workers, with a significant minority (12.5 percent) being aged between 15 and 24.

Read the full article ‘Capacity building program in seaport engineering and operation’ report here

Among engineers, the proportion aged between 25 and 40 is 63.16 percent, confirming this trend towards youth. Our study found the majority (65 percent) of port operations workers were between 15 and 34 years old and that 75 percent of respondents were male.

When we look at engineering workers, the proportion of males is 89.47 percent. Our findings have led us to recommend that facilities for women and people with disabilities should be provided to enable them to participate more fully and work productively.

In assessing skill levels we found that young workers have good general capabilities including technical competencies and adaptability to technology but are lacking in soft skills such as foreign language proficiency, discipline, responsibility, communication, time management, professionalism, work ethic, practical skills, teamwork, presentation, knowledge of regulations, attitude and self-confidence.

To address these skills gaps and promote inclusivity in the port sector, we recommend specific actions to be taken by education and training institutions, the port industry and central, provincial, and regional governments.

  • Recommendations for port education and training institutions include updating education curricula with emphasis on soft and hard skills, cooperating with elementary and secondary schools and including intellectual development, multicultural awareness, ethical reasoning and acceptance of diversity.
  • Recommendations for the port industry include collaborating with educational institutions to promote the industry, opening a special recruitment program for women and other minority groups and collaborating with universities and training institutions to develop and run capacity-building programs for the young workforce.
  • Recommendations for central, provincial and regional governments include developing learning facilities and port training centres in universities, regularising recognition and certification of skills as part of professional development and strengthening policies related to the recruitment of women and persons with disabilities in the port industry.

Feature image: PAIR