Tourism workers more competitive with certification
Workers in the tourism industry in Bali are upbeat that they are able to compete with those from other parts of the country and overseas thanks to the certification based on a standard used by ASEAN countries.
Slamet Suranto, who has been working for 22 years in the industry, said he had completed the certification process in 2010.
After obtaining the certificate, he felt relieved and more confident as he has completed all the requirements to be a certified tourism worker in accordance with the law.
“Although I have been working for dozens of years in tourism, I cannot be considered competent without passing the certification process. We should follow the regulations,” the Ayodya Hotel employee said, adding that the regulations also obliged companies to hire certified workers.
Slamet, chairman of the hotel’s employee union, said he and all the hotel’s employees, a total of 599 people, had been supported by their company’s management to take part in the certification, which should be renewed every two years. Putu Satyawira Mahendra, chairman of the Bali Tourism Workers Federation, said that in general Bali’s tourist industry had qualified workers, as indicated by many returning tourists that were satisfied with the service they received.
In addition, many in Bali were capable of occupying strategic positions in companies and had been hired by tourism businesses abroad.
He agreed that every worker should be certified, as required by the law. Therefore, the federation continued to urge its 10,000 members to take part in the competency test.
“Around half of our members have been certified, mostly those in kitchen and spa departments. However, they have been willing to become certified because they were supported and funded by the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry and their companies, not through their own awareness. We will continue to encourage them.”
In companies with an employee union, the union will regularly review the labor agreement between the employer and employees to ensure the employer will facilitate the certification, as stipulated in the agreement.
If the company lacked an employee union, the workers should demand their company support them and facilitate the certification, he said.
Satyawira also urged the government to allocate a budget to accelerate the certification.
To fund the certification, the local government could allocate money from the tax revenue raised by hotels and restaurants, as well as from money received from the tax on foreign workers of US$100 per month per person.
I Gusti Putu Laksaguna, inspector general of the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry, said that certification was required for every tourism-related company.
“Tourism workers and companies should be able to use this opportunity, before the implementation of ASEAN Community 2015, to get certified.”
He added that the ministry had, since 2010, assisted in certification for 20,000 tourism workers nationwide. This year, the ministry was targeting certification for 20,500 workers.
Tjokorda Raka Darmawan, head of Badung regency’s tourism agency, and Putu Budiasa, head of Denpasar tourism agency, both said that their institutions had yet to receive the technical procedure for the certification process.
“We demand the government make the technical aspects clear for us, so that we could disseminate them to tourism stakeholders in our area,” Budiasa said.