The two pair of Presidential Candidates mingle at the GEC's office on Friday (21/09) - Photo: Privacy

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – The issue of unemployment was approached by two different methods by Ma’ruf Amin, Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno in the vice presidential (VP) debate on Sunday (03/17) night. Amin offers the idea of Pre-Work card, Uno with the concept of Ready to Workhouse.

However, actually, there are no fundamental new ideas that can have a major impact on the fate of job seekers. Based on data from Statistics Indonesia, the open unemployment rate in 2018 was 7,000,691 or 5.34 percent of the total workforce. While the number of foreign workers in Indonesia in 2018 was recorded as 124 million people or 0.007 percent.

Overcoming this problem, Amin explained how to prepare school-age children until they enter the work period, one of which is to provide pre-employment cards. With this card, the government will provide incentives or honorariums between six months and one year. In addition, it will provide additional skills for the community by accessing free courses. This idea was previously heralded by President Joko Widodo. The pre-work card is basically an effort to give job seekers access to training so they can work.

Uno has a different opinion. He highlighted the lack of continuity of science in the world of education with the working space. This is called link and match. The Prabowo Subianto’ pair promised that graduates of the vocational high school get synergy with the world of work. To prepare this, Uno said that it was preparing a Ready-to-Workhouse and OKE-OCE programs.

This concept actually has the same purpose: to answer the problems of job seekers. Ready to Workhouses imagined by the Subianto-Uno’ National Winning Body to be one-stop services for job seekers. Its form is like co-working space which brings together industry and job seekers. He provides training and sports facilities.

Link and match is the excavation of competencies needed by the job market going forward. It is expected that the education orientation paradigm will no longer be supply minded but more demand minded, he added.

So, the core idea of Pre-Work Card and Ready-to-Workhouses is access to training to improve the skills of job seekers in order to get jobs and connect with industry. This idea is actually the same as the current government-owned Job Training Center (JTC).

JTC provides training for residents or job seekers who want to get the skills to work, provide job information, even in some areas to facilitate work registration and selection. That is also what will be done with the pre-work card and ready to workhouses concept.

Instead of trying to maximize the work of the JTC with innovation, the two vice presidents were more happy to bring up new items. Even though the two ideas are only a gimmick that has the potential to burden the state budget. Amin’ card uses an honor incentive gimmick, an Uno’ workhouse to spur the co-working space gimmick and sports arena.

The consequence of the Amin’ card is the state must prepare a large budget for that. Widodo-Amin team spokesman, Irma Chaniago, said that the plan if Widodo was elected again the government would subsidize Rp1 million (US$70.42) per month for job seekers.

When referring to the unemployment rate of 7 million, at least the government must provide a budget of Rp7 trillion for a one-month subsidy. This budget will certainly burden the state expenditure budget.

The idea of a ready-to-workhouse from Subianto-Uno is also no less wasting state funds for actual needs. JTCs in each district and city already exist. Likewise, sports facilities are usually already available at the district and city level.

If you have to rebuild and unite JLC with sports facilities, it will certainly not be cheap. For example, just building a basketball court costs around Rp150 million. That does not include buildings for co-working space.

This idea actually does not answer the needs of job seekers, who need work instead of workspace. This program actually blurs the main goal, improving skills so they can work.

Improving the skills or abilities of job seekers is actually not just by training at the JTC. There is an apprenticeship that has been carried out since 2009 in the era of administration of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

The apprenticeship in question is an apprenticeship, not an internship, where the apprentice will learn with the material and practice directly on the job site. The goal is the same: giving skills to job seekers.

Unfortunately, the matter of the internship was not comprehensively elaborated by two vice presidents. He had touched upon Uno, who he called one of the ways to link and match. Unfortunately, he did not specify the application of the apprenticeship he intended.

Subianto – Uno’ spokeperson Dahnil Anzar Simanjuntak explained there was a difference between OK-OCE and Ready to Workhouse program. OK-OCE is a job creation program for those who want to become entrepreneurs, while Ready to workhouses are programs and facilities to help young people find work, provide career guidance, interests and talents and prepare them to be an innovative, creative and resilient workforce to face the challenges of the world of work.

Amin didn’t discuss the matter of the internship at all. Whereas in 2016, Widodo launched a national apprenticeship program after revising Labor Regulations on Domestic Apprenticeship. This program is still running today, but its a lot here and there.

Some policies are about the standard of pocket money, length of time for internships, and inadequate supervision. The practice of apprenticeship was misused by a number of companies to get workers with low wages. Some job seekers are forced to become trainees for many years.

The misuse is because the supervision doesn’t work by the government through the Manpower Office at the provincial level. As a result, good intentions to improve work skills actually end in cheap slavery without health and employment guarantees, without wage and contract standards, which are at risk of labour disputes.

From the results of the two vice presidential debates, there are no substantive and innovative ideas that can be a solution for job seekers. Both Amin and Uno appeared very polite and tended to be flat. Both explained their respective visions, missions and programs and had very little debate on other candidate programs.

US$1: Rp14,200

Written by Lexy Nantu, Email: lexy@theinsiderstories.com