Policy brief: Closing the skills gap: Digital skills readiness of Makassar port workers

Indonesia is in the midst of an ambitious multi-billion dollar infrastructure build which is seeing billions of dollars invested into projects for railways, ports, roads and power plants. These new facilities provide an opportunity for young people aged 16 to 30 to step into jobs that require  digital knowledge and capabilities. Yet, there is a gap between this infrastructure investment and the workforce required to operate and optimise the technology that comes with it.

To understand this skills gap we examined a new seaport in South Sulawesi’s capital of Makassar. This is  Indonesia’s fourth largest city while the port is a key piece of infrastructure for eastern Indonesia. The port is managed by Pelindo Regional IV, one of four ports merged under the Ministry of State Owned Enterprises.

Download the ‘Closing the skills gap: Digital skills readiness of Makassar port workers’ policy brief here

A digital literacy framework was created to measure the skills of workers  and compare it to management expectations. The framework covers nine areas of digital competency with a total of 30 indicators.. They combine foundational digital skills with specific task-based digital skills required in the workplace.

The nine areas are:

  1. Computational and algorithmic thinking – ability to translate real problems into models or algorithms that people and computers can easily process.
  2. Digital communication, collaboration, and community connection – ability to connect, communicate and work together via digital platforms.
  3. Digital content fluency – ability to produce and manage digital content and generate creative ideas and innovations.
  4. Digital citizenship – ability to use and access digital technologies responsibly and ethically.
  5. Digital identity and security – ability to protect sensitive digital data/information and use digital technologies safely.
  6. Digital learning – ability to optimise digital technology to build and develop knowledge.
  7. Technology concepts and operation – ability to understand and use digital technologies, ranging from software, hardware, network, and other advanced technologies.
  8. Data and information literacy – understand the processes and strategies for digital data creation, collection, validation, storage, access and use.
  9. Supply chain management related digital skills – covers all knowledge related to the end-to-end process of supply chain management (e.g., procurement, production, warehousing and distribution) and port logistics operations.

Photo at top: Meeting with Pelindo representatives (courtesy Sherah Kurnia)