Policy brief: How vocational education leaders can improve digital competencies of port workers

The Port of Makassar is busy. Designated a primary port by the national government, it has the highest passenger traffic among Indonesian ports and the largest cargo traffic on the island of Sulawesi. This piece of infrastructure represents an opportunity for young people to pursue careers  using the digital skills required in a modern workforce.

To understand the level at which this opportunity is available to young people, we focussed on local vocational education and training (VET) schools in South Sulawesi. We examined current education programs and the learning provided compared to what we have learned about the digital  competencies needed by those who run the port, the managers at Pelindo Regional IV.

Download the full ‘How vocational education leaders can improve digital competencies of port workers’ policy brief here

The assessment included:

  1. The digital literacy competencies of current vocational education students.
  2. Comparing the competencies learned with the needs of port management.
  3. The relationship between vocational schools, port management and ways to improve it.

In our research, we used a combination of interviews, focus group discussions and surveys with four vocational schools in Makassar. The schools were selected by considering a balance between public and private schools, geography, a relatively large number of students and teachers and a  balance of high-achieving and low-achieving schools. With the last, we are interested in whether higher and lower-achieving schools differed in their efforts to enhance the quality of vocational education.

Focus group discussions were held with the principal or deputy principal of the  schools, the human resources division at Makassar port and policy stakeholders to understand digital literacy competencies and explore the potential of developing digital literacy education and training for young people.

An online survey was conducted with VET school students to identify  their digital literacy competency levels.

At this point, we developed a digital literacy framework to measure the skills gap. The framework consists of nine areas to measure digital competencies and help assess current and expected digital literacy skills. See our primary report for  details. Based on the curriculum review, focus groups, and survey results, we have identified opportunities to improve existing educational and training programs at local VET schools in Makassar.

Photo at top: ICTSI