JAKARTA. The Industry Ministry has earmarked Rp 650 billion (US$ 48.6 million) for various vocational training programs as part of its efforts to address a shortage of skilled labor in the manufacturing sector.
The programs funded include two new polytechnics and free trainings to enhance the skills of school graduates, according to the ministry’s head of training and education, Mujiyono.
The new polytechnics to open in Semarang, Central Java, and Bantaeng, South Sulawesi, will enable students to gain skills in furniture making and metal processing, respectively. They will add to just 10 existing polytechnics nationwide.
“We are also cooperating with the technical directorate general to provide extra funding to the limited budget,” Mujiyono recently said.
With the budget at hand, the ministry aims to train at least 220,000 people to become skilled workers. Of that figure, 190,000 will join a “link and match” program, which aims to synergize vocational school training with demand from manufacturing companies. The rest will take part in a free education and training program, a one-year diploma program and free certification of competence for industrial labor.
Businesspeople have long complained about the difficulty to obtain manpower with proper skills despite an abundant workforce of 100 million in the country, according to data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS).
The manufacturing sector needs 589,447 additional workers this year, and the number is set to increase to 619,732 workers by 2019, Industry Ministry data show. (lnd)