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Jakarta Post

Preemployment card program suspends course bundles amid irregularities

  • Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie and Dzulfiqar Fathur Rachman

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, July 2, 2020   /   02:47 pm
Preemployment card program suspends course bundles amid irregularities A job seeker obtains an AK/1 card, also known as a yellow card, designated for unemployed citizens, at the Bogor regency Manpower Agency in Cibinong, Bogor, West Java, on June 12. (Antara/Yulius Satria Wijaya)

The preemployment card committee has suspended the sale of course bundles offered by partnered learning platforms as of Tuesday after discovering lapses in accountability.

The program’s partners, Skill Academy by Ruangguru, MauBelajarApa, Pintaria, Sekolahmu and Pijar Mahir, offer courses packaged as bundles for preemployment card holders.

For example, Skill Academy by Ruangguru offered a bundle for ojol (app-based motorcycle taxi) drivers consisting of six courses, including stress management and English conversation, for Rp 1 million (US$70.49), compared to Rp 3.97 million if each course was purchased individually.

However, the program committee found that the bundles offered no mechanism to ensure that buyers actually completed the courses in the package before they received cash incentives.

The preemployment card program is a mix of cash aid and training subsidies provided by the government. Each participant is eligible for Rp 600,000 a month for four months after completing at least one class. Card holders also receive Rp 1 million to pay for training courses.

“There are no reports on participants’ assessments of instructors, the training platforms or the classes in the bundle itself,” the committee wrote in a circular on Tuesday, a copy of which was obtained by The Jakarta Post.

Read also: Preemployment card may not help people return to work despite ‘new normal’: Experts

The committee added that the issue had prevented the program management from evaluating the classes.

Preemployment card program spokesperson Panji Winanteya Ruky confirmed the suspension of the course bundles. However, he asserted that the suspended packages made up only a small part of the training programs offered.

“The termination has no impact on the overall program, as it continues to run in line with the Job Creation Committee,” Panji told the Post on Thursday.

He added that participants who were currently taking the bundled courses would still receive the cash incentives and partnered companies offering the bundles would be paid as usual.

“The termination of the bundled packages is a step in implementing good program governance so that participants can truly benefit from the program, without limiting the freedom to choose from thousands of other types of training," said Panji.

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) recently discovered some questionable realities about the program, including the existence of similar programs offered for free on other platforms. The antigraft body recommended that the government overhaul the program to address such irregularities.

Committee chairman Rudy Salahuddin said he would revamp the program to address its problems.