In many regions across Indonesia, providing access to job information is often deemed as a one way street, from companies opening vacancies to job seekers looking to join the workforce. The local government plays a part in facilitating this process, such as organizing a number of job fairs to link these two. However, many of these job fairs left much to be desired and appeared passive, in that job seekers submit application to participating companies, and then they simply wait.
SINERGI (Strengthening Coordination for Inclusive Workforce Development), a USAID-funded program to mainstream poor and vulnerable youth aged 18-34 years, including people with disabilities, into the workforce, was keen on improving this. As the name suggests, SINERGI aims to achieve its goal by strengthening coordination among relevant stakeholders.
For the past 15 months, SINERGI has been working hand in hand with both the national government, through the Ministry of Manpower, and local governments in Semarang, Boyolali, and Demak Districts, as well as in Semarang City, particularly with Training Provider Institutions such as Semarang Training Center (BBPLK Semarang), Manpower Office, Social Office, and other relevant institutions, to provide better access to job information to ultimately reduce unemployment and poverty in Central Java Province.
As admitted by Tegoeh Hadi Noegroho, an official at the Social Office of Semarang City, “We hope this cooperation pattern between SINERGI and the local government continues. We are pleased to be engaged in good cause programs such as SINERGI. By cooperating with the government, we can also play a positive part in providing access to jobs for poor youth”.
SINERGI has been enriching the government’s existing education and training programs with inclusive soft skill, hard skill, managerial skill, and internship training for 445 P & V Youth across 16 consortia partners, including the ones with disabilities, which are funded under the Opportunity Fund program of SINERGI. These trainings are supported by, and parts of it held in the local government’s existing facilities, such as BBPLK Semarang or BBPLK Surakarta. By the end of these trainings, they will receive an official certificate from the local government, bringing them closer to their dream job.
Not only that, SINERGI are also in close collaboration with a number of local and national companies, like Nuanza Porcelain, PT. PAN Brothers, and PT. AOI Apparel, to host parts of the training and the internship. For companies, this helps them in recognizing potential employees early on, and providing them with a clear path of employment, without having to go through their own training and recruitment regimes. In addition, this opens up the door for companies to work and coordinate closer with Government Training Agencies (BLKs).
“SINERGI has lifted the coordination barrier between us and BLKs, making it easier to collaborate with them and making joint programs”, said Roy Wibisono, Director of Nuanza Porcelain.
Fruits of Synergy
Going back to enabling easier ways to provide access to job information, the aforementioned synergy culminated in a large scale event jointly-held by SINERGI and BBPLK Semarang, called SINERGI Youth Career Festival 2018, on November 13-14. Because of the good synergy on which it was based, and since it is held in unison with BBPLK’s training certificate handover ceremony, this event attracted the attention, and was attended by many high ranking officials, including the Minister of Manpower of the Republic of Indonesia, M. Hanif Dhakiri, and Deputy Director at the Office of Education and Training of USAID, Thomas Crehan.
In his speech, Thomas acknowledged that strong collaboration contributed to the success of this activity. “This activity would not be possible without strong collaborations from important partners such as the Minister of Manpower, Hanif Dhakiri, Directorate General of Training and Productivity, BBPLK Semarang and Surakarta, Governor of Central Java, Ganjar Pranowo, and his staff, Ministry of Research, Technology, and Higher Education, Local Government of Semarang, Demak, and Boyolali Districts, as well as Semarang City, and business associations, training agencies, higher education institutions, and community-based organizations,” he explained at length.
Meanwhile, Hanif mentioned the importance of multi-stakeholder coordination to address the issue of inclusive workforce. “Soft skill trainings, like the one conducted by USAID, is very important…because investing in human resources cannot be done by the government alone, we need cooperation from the private sector and international world”, he said.
More Than Just a Job Fair
Over 75 companies, more than 6,000 job seekers, 95 of which were people with disabilities, participated in the Youth Festival, making it the largest and most inclusive job fairs in Semarang. Using the atmosphere of festivities unique to festivals, this job fair aimed to enable easier and more diverse access to job information for youth, thus championing inclusiveness, in that many youth with disabilities were involved in this event. They took part as organizers, concept developers, volunteers, and others. In addition, more than six companies opened vacancies especially for people with disabilities. The fact that SINERGI managed to hold this event in a government-owned venue and was graced with the presence of the Minister of Manpower added its credibility and drew many people into it.
There were many activities in this festival that made it more than just a job fair. For instance, there was live music, where several disabled youth performed. Then there were small size class discussions providing tips and tricks to job seekers, such as making good CVs, or interview techniques. All 16 consortia partners were also given the opportunity to showcase the result of their SINERGI training.
Not only that, during the event, there was a live interactive dialogue hosted by a panel consisting of the Head of BBPLK Semarang, representatives from SINERGI, PAN Brothers, Alfamart, and HR Association of Central Java. They discussed a number of solutions on how to pursue your dream job, and talked to people attending the Festival.
So, in addition to enabling easier and more diverse access to job information, the SINERGI Youth Career Festival 2018, which was a product of strong coordination among relevant parties, provided job seekers with various knowledge that will leave a lasting impression make them more enthusiastic in pursuing future job opportunities.
Wicaksono Prayogie (Knowledge Management Specialist – SINERGI)
December 21, 2018