Women in STEM

Design and Delivery of Demand-driven ICT Skills Training for the Retail Industry as a Response to Job and Income Losses due to COVID-19 Pandemic

While many sectors are experiencing a slowdown due to pandemic, there are essential services and their related supply chains that are exempted from a closure. Some of the businesses that will continue its services are the supermarkets and grocery stores.


Since the World Health Organization (WHO) characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic on 11 March 2020, the world of work has been profoundly affected by the global virus outbreak. Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic is having a catastrophic effect on working hours and earnings as businesses are being forced to operate in limited capacity or close completely. These strict measures on businesses are being set by governments to reverse the trend of increasing local transmission of COVID-19.

Indonesia is no exception to this extraordinary global circumstance. As a matter of fact, COVID-19 pandemic is spreading like a wildfire in Indonesia, not only it has taken lives, it has also taken the earnings of millions of workers. The Minister of Manpower of the Republic of Indonesia revealed the latest data that the Ministry of Manpower recorded as of 20 April 2020 that approximately 2.084.593 workers from 116.370 formal and informal sectors have been impacted due to COVID-19. The informal sector lost 538.385 workers from 31.444 micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Finding income generation opportunities for those who lost their jobs becomes a priority.

Just like everywhere else, retail industry in Indonesia suffers from the economic slow-down caused by COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of shop closed down and millions of workers are impacted. The Indonesian Retailers’ Association (APRINDO) has confirmed the growing needs of ICT skills to support e-commerce in big retail companies as supermarkets have experienced higher pressure to conduct their businesses online, a trend that most likely will increase in the coming years. Subsequently, people are increasingly wary to leave home. This situation creates opportunities for small and medium retailers, particularly grocery stores and food-related shops, to build web-based application systems that are able to accommodate online shopping and delivery services with the ultimate goal to sustain their businesses throughout and beyond COVID-19 crisis.

Scope of work

The Women in STEM workforce readiness and development programme seeks to provide women with critical soft and technical STEM-related skills to help women gain quality employment and support career advancement of women in the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector in Indonesia by tackling challenges that reduce entry, retention and career advancement in these sectors. In the midst of COVID-19 pandemic and considering the skills requirements in this new context, the programme will expand its scope to provide ICT trainings tailored for the needs of the retail sector.

For this, the Programme will conduct in collaboration with APRINDO two trainings, namely i) coding for online shop application and ii) administration of e-commerce. With these training programmes the ILO aims to train a maximum of 600 participants in the course of 5 months, targeting the owners of small and medium businesses for coding training and the workers who have been laid off for administration of e-commerce training as the retail sector struggles amidst the economic crises. While both women and men have lost their income, the Programme prioritizes assistance to women and it will ensure at least 60% of training participants are women.

Objectives of the training programmes

  • Develop knowledge and skills of participants on business plan, business process, marketing, and financial management for income generation through e-commerce.
  • Develop the necessary capabilities for participants to create an online store application through the training in coding and ultimately support business development.
  • Provide skills to administer an e-commerce application and with this increase employability of participants in the retail sector.