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Des '07

RI launches training programs for unemployed youths

Indonesia, in cooperation with the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the governments of the Netherlands and Norway, has launched a series of training programs for unemployed young people.

One is a US$200,000 training program in retail business and the automotive sector, with two groups of 200 jobless youths having been recruited for a two-month program funded by the Norwegian government.

“The training program is only a pilot project that will be implemented at other provinces if it is later found to be effective at generating job opportunities for the unemployed,” deputy chairwoman of the Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo) Nina Turinah told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.

“The automotive training program is run by automotive company PT Astra, while the retail business program is handled by manufacturing companies as participants are trained in product promotion,” she said.

Another program, running on a donation of 169 million euros ($249.5 million) from the Netherlands, the ILO and the government, is a training program, to run until 2010, for jobless youths in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam, East Nusa Tenggara, South Sulawesi, Maluku, Papua and West Papua provinces in an effort to help the growth of young entrepreneurs and generate job opportunities in the least-developed provinces.

ILO director in Jakarta Alan Boulton said the program is aimed at promoting youth employment by improving their entrepreneurial skills and creating a favorable business environment in the provinces.

“Young people must be provided with education and training that allows them to access productive and gainful employment. Yet provision of universal and quality education and training remains a challenge and an even a bigger challenge in more remote and disadvantaged areas. This project, therefore, plays an important role in providing better access to training and education that is in line with changing needs of the labor market,” he said.

This project focuses on youths aged between 13 and 29, mainly through the capacity building of school teachers and instructors at various public and private institutions.

Apindo chairman Sofyan Wanandi praised the training programs as they help employers cope with unemployment, particularly among young people.

Referring to the ILO’s latest labor survey in the Asia-Pacific region, Sofyan said the high unemployment rate among the country’s young had a lot to do with the wide gap between the standard of education and the labor market.

“Youths constitute 20 percent of the jobless and it is a fact that 62 percent of youths aged between 15 and 24 are unemployed,” he said, adding that according to the ILO survey, unemployment among the young increased to 85 million in 2005 from 74 million in 1995 in the Asia-Pacific region.

He said the education curriculum at intermediate and higher education levels must be revised, while vocational training programs should be intensified to improve workers’ skills and create school graduates able to meet the requirements of the labor market.

Chairman of The Federation of Indonesian Prosperous Labor Unions (FSBSI) Rekson Silaban concurred, and said the Manpower and Transmigration Ministry and the Education Ministry should synchronize the training programs and the education curriculum to help young job seekers build the competence required by the labor market, either at home or overseas.

He said both the government and parents have invested much in national education, but that the products could not meet the labor market’s demands.

Sumber : (Ridwan Max Sijabat) The Jakarta Post, Jakarta (cached)

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