Apprenticeships promoted to tackle unemployment
The Jakarta Post
Thousands of businesses under the Indonesian Employers' Association (Apindo) will promote apprenticeship programs in order to build the capacity of future employees and help tackle youth unemployment.
The business group launched on Thursday the Indonesian National Apprenticeship Network (INAN) as a way to widen its apprenticeship program to its members totaling 14,000 companies. As many as 15 companies, including Astra International, Sinar Mas Group, Hotel Sahid Group, Nestle Indonesia, Trans Retail and Samsung Electronics Indonesia, have pioneered in joining this network.
Apindo executive director Agung Pambudhi said that skill mismatch between school and higher education institutions was a major issue that could be addressed through apprenticeships.
'We see an irony here that while companies cannot get workers with the qualifications they seek in the labor market, there are a lot of high school and university graduates who are unemployed. So there's no other way except for the business world to engage in enhancing the youth's skills and capacity,' he told The Jakarta Post on the sidelines of the launching event.
Indonesia has a serious issue with youth unemployment, at 71.3 percent, according to a report from the National Labor Force Survey.
The high rate of youth unemployment is believed to contribute to social problems and the rising crime rate. In recent months, violent thieves, most of whom were young, brutally attacked motorcyclists and caused severe injuries and deaths. These cases received a good deal of attention from the media, especially in Jakarta.
Indonesia must provide at least 15.5 million jobs to grow its economy robustly over the next five years. There will be 8.3 million new workers during the period.
Agung also said that apart from generating much-needed jobs, Apindo was committed to boosting worker productivity by enhancing skills during the apprenticeship program.
'Apprenticeship improves not only technical skills but also soft-skills that include the ability to adapt to office culture, obey discipline, participate in team work and take on leadership roles,' he said.
With the launching, Apindo is now affiliated with the Geneva-based Global Apprenticeship Network with which it can learn the best practices applied in other nations.
Global Apprenticeship Network executive director Shea Gopaul said that in some developed nations, such as Switzerland, Germany and Austria, well-established apprenticeship programs had contributed to lowering youth unemployment.
'We can see in countries that have apprenticeship programs, youth unemployment is low,' Gopaul told the Post.
Developing countries, such as Colombia, Brazil and South Africa, are also on their way to establishing apprenticeship programs, from which Indonesia could learn by example, she said.
At the international level, rising youth employment has also emerged as a major global concern. The International Labor Organization (ILO) predicted that the worldwide unemployment rate among youngsters aged 15 to 24 ' 13 percent in 2014, or 74 million people ' would likely increase, according to its 2015 World Employment and Social Outlook.
The unemployment rate is three times higher than their adult counterparts, according to ILO.
Sri Martono, the vice president for executive management at Astra International, said that the firm offered a variety of apprenticeship programs for school graduates to its vendors, such as automotive part suppliers.
'We try to introduce them to technical skills, such as awareness of safety and a sense of quality in our business processes, which can support our operations,' he said.
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