Manpower and Transmigration Minister Muhaimin Iskandar expressed his optimism that Indonesia would lead the ASEAN Skills Competition due to start at the Jakarta Convention Center on Saturday.
“Based on our performance in the previous competition and the preparedness of 44 Indonesian participants for the [10-day ] championship, Indonesia should be able to grab the most medals in the big event,” Muhaimin said after welcoming the Indonesian contingent on Thursday.
Indonesia earned eight gold medals, two silver medals and 13 bronze medals in the previous competition, which was held in Bangkok, Thailand, in 2010.
This year, 1,000 young skilled workers from Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and host nation Indonesia will participate in events testing 220 skills.
The 44 Indonesian participants are all young workers from manufacturing, IT, automotive, plumbing and welding companies.
They have already undergone an intensive training program at several labor training centers with the full support from 20 private companies and universities, including PT Makita, PT Indo Hotama Sejati, PT Pan Brothers, Danfoss Industries Ltd, PT Tekno Logika Utama, Bina Nusantara University and the Wood Technology Academy in Semarang, Central Java.
The 220 contested skills include those used in wall and floor tilling, automotive technology, IT-based administrative systems, software solution development for business, joinery, mechanical engineering design, beauty therapy and graphic design.
The competition’s organizing committee said that the public, and especially workers, would be allowed to watch the competition for free in an endeavor to encourage them to continue to improve their skills and their competitiveness in the labor market.
“We hope that big companies will send their workers to watch the event to encourage them to continue improving their skills, productivity and social welfare,” Muhaimin said.
The director general for training and productivity development affairs at the Manpower and Transmigration Ministry, Abdul Wahab Bangkona, said the competition has been held since 1993 to promote vocational and quality skill development among young workers, encourage technical cooperation in the vocational and training fields and to boost bilateral and regional cooperation between governments, the private sector and training institutions in the region.
“With such a biennial event, ASEAN countries will have standard skills or qualifications in vocational and training institutions and the workplace so that all workers will be found competitive in winning the ongoing labor liberalization in the region,” he said, adding that the event would provide good momentum for Indonesian workers to master standardized competences needed in the labor market.