Garuda to give aircraft maintenance training to SMK graduates
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Ninety-four graduates of vocational senior high schools (SMK) in Surakarta, Central Java, are to be given the chance this year to join an aircraft maintenance training program by professionals and experts from PT Garuda Maintenance Facility (GMF) Aero Asia, a subsidiary of PT Garuda Indonesia.
The opportunity is being given as part of a cooperative aircraft maintenance training program between Solo Techno Park (STP) training center and PT GMF Aero Asia that was signed on Friday at STP compound in Surakarta.
“This is the result of a negotiation between the STP and the GMF that we have had since 2007 when the STP was named as SCTC [Solo Competency Technology Center],” STP cooperation division director ,Darsono, said.
The training, according to Darsono, will be offered in three batches. The first batch will be opened in September 2012 for 24 SMK graduates through a tight selection process conducted by STP and GMF.
Successful applicants will have a total of nine months to join the training program, which will comprise six months of basic structure training at STP and three-month job training at GMF in close to Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.
“The selection for the next batch will be announced later after the training program for the first batch is completed,” he said.
The STP is a training center for human resources in the field of technology. Established in 2004 in Surakarta, the center targeted the technology most needed by the industry. However, the STP is not accredited as it has nothing to do with educational institutions but is instead directly connected with the industry.
Every year, the STP yields in between 500 and 600 skilled technicians ready to enter the world of work, including underwater wet welding technicians. This year, the center is trying to work on aircraft maintenance, an area in which Indonesia is considered to be still lacking in terms of technicians and experts.
The GMF Aero Asia deputy director, Agus Sudaryo, said that last year there were some 4,500 skilled technicians and experts in aircraft maintenance available. Of them, 500 were recruited by Garuda. “In fact, we have so many flight companies,” he said, underlining the high demand for such expertise.
Agus said the cooperation between the STP and the GMF Aero Asia would be an important breakthrough as it would help narrow the gap between the worlds of education and industry.
He added that air transportation was predicted to experience a surge in passengers by 15 to 20 percent in 2015. This means that there will be more aircraft needed, which will in turn increase the need for more maintenance experts and technicians.
“We do hope all the students trained here at the STP hangar will pass the program so we can recruit them or recommend them for aircraft maintenance domestically and abroad,” Agus said.
Separately Surakarta Deputy Mayor FX Hadi Rudyatmo expressed worry that high training expenses would place a burden on students, especially those from economically disadvantaged families.
He underlined the need for the municipal administration, with the support of the local legislative council, to offer scholarships to these students. “Students from poor families often have outstanding potential. Don’t make the training fee a burden for them,” he said.
The training will cost Rp 55 million (US$5830) per student. As PT GMF Aero Asia gives each Rp 27 million in subsidies, each student requires Rp 23 million to join the program.
There is a plan to offer disadvantaged students loans from the banking sector, which could be repaid in installments upon the completion of their training.