Benedicta Noviana Dibyantari Restuwati, from the Community of Disabled Friends of Semarang (KSD), gave a presentation on the GESI approach to mobilize the potential, assets and agencies of disabled youth. (Andhiani M. Kumalasari / SYNERGY)

Surakarta - Gender equality, social inclusion and positive youth development are the three main approaches of SINERGI for the implementation of inclusive employment programmes in Central Java. This was expressed by the SINERGI project manager, Agung Binantoro, in his remarks at the workshop on Gender, Social Inclusion and Youth Empowerment for Inclusive Employment held at the Royal Surakarta Heritage Hotel on 7 August 2019.

At the beginning of the implementation of Phase 2, SINERGI invited all stakeholder representatives and SINERGI partners to learn about gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) and positive youth development (PYD) issues to be mainstreamed in the programme. - Inclusive employment programmes within the work and activities of each institution.

"If we discuss the word 'inclusive', the issue of GESI must be the most important part so that no one is left out. Women and people with disabilities must be actively involved and have the same opportunities. No one is left behind," said Myra Diarsi, from the Governor's Team for Accelerated Development (TGUPP) in Central Java, who was one of the speakers.

In addition to GESI, the TGUPP issue is also important in preparing young people who are ready to work. PYD is an important issue because the implementation of phase 2 of the SINERGI programme aims to provide access to employment information to 16,000 young people, vocational training to 2,000 disadvantaged and vulnerable young people, including the disabled, and better job opportunities or income for 1,600 young people.

Current conditions, both young people as jobseekers, businesses as employers, and government and vocational training institutions as providers of vocational training programmes, still leave many young people without an understanding of the PYD concept. This leads to the inefficiency of vocational training programmes as they are seen as untargeted and not in the interest of young people. On the other hand, the understanding, mindset and behaviour of young people who cannot adapt to the conditions of the world of work are the main causes of high turnover rates in enterprises. Evidence on the ground shows that unemployment is still high, but that many companies are short of labour.

Amrullah, as Youth Engagement Specialist, DAI - a key partner, explained that "the framework for developing the positive character of young people, i.e. assets, agencies, contributions and a supportive environment, needs to be applied to the process of selecting or recruiting workers, training, apprenticeship and placement, including entrepreneurs, in order to reduce the employment problems that have arisen."

One of the workshop participants, Mu'inatul Qoiriyah from Kebumen Inclusion House, shared the results of a group discussion on the needs of people with disabilities in accessing employment information. (Andhiani M. Kumalasari / SINERGI)

The workshop was also used to develop joint proposals on the concept of mainstreaming GESI and PYD for inclusive employment. This proposed concept will be discussed at the meeting of the Action Group (POKSI) on Inclusive Employment, which will involve four pillar actors: government, business, youth and vocational training institutions.

Thanks to the POKSI and the active role of the consortia of the four major actors, an innovative joint action plan for job recruitment, job evaluation, vocational training/apprenticeship and work placement will be produced. The implementation of this joint innovative action plan should help the Central Java Provincial Government to reduce unemployment and poverty more effectively.