The Jakarta Post
The government will temporarily turn its preemployment card program, which included a mix of social assistance and up-skilling for laid off workers affected by the epidemic, into a full-fledged financial aid program following the suspension of course sales offered by partnered learning platforms.
Manpower Minister Ida Fauziyah said on Wednesday that of the 680,000 registered preemployment card program participants, only 140,000 had completed their digital training. The remaining 500,000, she said, would be enrolled in the social assistance program under the Social Affairs Ministry instead.
"As the preemployment card program has been temporarily stopped and among the participants are those who had lost their income, we’ve submitted their data to the Social Affairs Ministry to so they can obtain social assistance while we evaluate the preemployment card program," she said in a hearing with House of Representatives Commission IX overseeing labor affairs.
Ida said that up to 1.7 million people had been laid off or furloughed due to the COVID-19 outbreak and that the government had prioritized them as preemployment card beneficiaries.
She said the government’s number was different from that of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin), which recorded 6.4 million workers laid off or furloughed amid the epidemic.
The preemployment card committee suspended the program after discovering that the bundles offered by the program’s partners, such as Skill Academy by Ruangguru, MauBelajarApa, Pintaria, Sekolahmu and Pijar Mahir had no mechanism to ensure that buyers actually completed the course package before they received cash incentives.
The Corruption Eradication Commission recently found several irregularities in the program, including the potential for conflict of interest and the availability of some of the courses for free on other platforms.
Experts criticized the program, say it needed to be converted to full-fledged cash aid that would be more useful for laid off and furloughed workers.