Aditya Hadi, Jakarta – The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) is cooperating with more than a dozen local universities to help close the gap between employers' demands and graduates' skills by expanding vocational education.
The universities participating in the program include Prasetiya Mulya University, Pelita Harapan University and Trisakti University.
Kadin deputy chair for manpower Adi Mahfudz Wuhadji said the agreement allowed universities to request that the chamber's members become temporary instructors so that college students could learn some of the practical skills required by industries.
"On top of that, Kadin and those universities will also set up an internship program for the university students, both online and offline," Adi said on Tuesday.
The agreement seeks to fulfill Presidential Regulation No. 68/2022 on the revitalization of vocational education and training, which was signed in February of last year and requires Kadin to "support the availability of instructors that meet work competency standards".
The regulation also calls for the establishment of a job market information system, a competency-based education system to meet industry needs and a program that awards certificates of competency.
"If those things can be met, I am sure that vocational education and training institutions can give birth to excellent graduates who can answer today and tomorrow's industry needs," Education, Culture, Research and Technology Minister Nadiem Makarim said in February, as quoted by Antara.
Manpower Minister Ida Fauziyah said the country was facing a challenge with regard to the skills of its workforce. As of August last year, 8.4 million Indonesians were unemployed, some 5.83 percent of working-age people.
The unemployed were mostly graduates of high school, college or above.
"Don't get it wrong. Your contribution to unemployment is pretty high," Ida told university rectors attending a meeting hosted by Kadin on Tuesday.
She said the unemployment figure indicated that there was a mismatch between the education that universities provided and the demands of the business world.