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Jakarta Post

Only 200,000 of 5.9m applicants accepted in first batch of pre-employment card program

  • Dzulfiqar Fathur Rahman

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, April 17, 2020   /   01:18 pm
Only 200,000 of 5.9m applicants accepted in first batch of pre-employment card program Workers sew at a garment factory in Bogor, West Java. (Antara/Yulius Satria Wijaya)

The pre-employment card program, established by the government to help unemployed people find new jobs, attracted 5.9 million applicants during its first phase of registration, a senior minister has said.

However, Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto said in an online briefing on Thursday that only 200,000 of the applicants had been accepted to join the first batch of the program as a result of limited training capacity.

Most of the total the applicants recorded at the end of the first phase of registration on Thursday came from Jakarta, West Java, Banten, Central Java and East Java, Airlangga said, adding that the applicants who had been verified but could not join the first batch would be automatically screened for the next batch.

 The government increased the maximum number of applicants it would admit every week to 200,000 from 164,000, a small increase in light of the swelling number of applicants.

“Going forward, we are planning to have a weekly review of the capacity, the mechanism and how we disburse the funds to the recipients’ accounts,” Minister Airlangga said.

The applicants, if accepted, will receive Rp 3.5 million (US$226.06) each during the four-month training program: Rp 1 million for training costs, a monthly stipend of Rp 600,000 and Rp 150,000 for survey expenses.

The government opened the registration last week, earlier than the initial plan, to help laid-off and furloughed workers as well as owners of small and medium enterprises hit by the COVID-19 outbreak.

As of April 13, 2.8 million people in Indonesia had lost their jobs as many companies shut their factories as a result of social restrictions imposed by the government to halt the spread of COVID-19, according to data from the Manpower Ministry and the Workers Social Security Agency (BPJS Ketenagakerjaan).

To prepare laid-off workers to participate in the job market again once the outbreak subsides, the government is partnering with eight companies, including online learning platform Skill Academy and e-commerce companies Tokopedia and Bukalapak, to offer more than 2,000 courses on various subjects.

“There are plenty of options, and the government will not dictate which one to choose,” said Airlangga, who also serves as Golkar Party chairman. “It depends on each individual.”