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SKILL DEVELOPMENT CENTER (SDC): COLLABORATIVE INSTRUMENTS IN CREATING A SOLID SINERGY TO OVERCOME LABOR ISSUES

The Ministry of National Development Planning /Bappenas together with the Ministry of Education and Culture, Ministry of Industry, and Denpasar City Government, on February 8, 2018, have signed Cooperation Document for Pilot Project of SDC for Denpasar City. The SDC model was developed by Bappenas in response to the President Joko Widodo's policy to revitalize vocational education and training.

The SDC pilot project, also supported by the Australian Government through the KOMPAK (Kolaborasi Masyarakat dan Pelayanan untuk Kesejahteraan) program, aimed to address the labor issue as one of the biggest challenges Indonesia is facing today. In this initial phase, the Pilot Project Cooperation is valid for one year with option to extend.

SDC is a communication, coordination and synchronization forum which involves three elements of ABG as the main actors, namely Academic or Educational Institution (SMK/BLK/BDI/ LPK / AKOM /Techno Park /Politeknik /University) element, Businesses and industries (KADIN / APINDO), and elements of Government or local government (Disnaker, Disdik, Disperin, and other related OPD). These three elements are expected to coordinate to address the main labor issue in the region that generally facing a 'mismatch' between supply and demand which impacted to low productivity and high unemployment rates.

For information, the number of Indonesian labor force in 2017 is about 128.06 million people, up by 2.62 million people compared with the previous year. Meanwhile, the working population was recorded at 121.02 million people, up 2.61 million people over the same period last year. Thus, although the open unemployment rate has decreased from 5.61% to 5.50%, the number of unemployed remain high at around 7 million people.

In his speech, Deputy Minister of National Development Planning Agency/Head of Bappenas Division of Population and Employment Drs. Pungky Sumadi, MCP, Ph.D. said that the success of efforts to strengthen the competitiveness of labor requires a cross-sectoral cooperation at the national and regional levels, and SDC is expected to be one of the answers. "Bappenas views SDC as one of the strategic elements as a forum for communication, coordination and synchronization of various programs and activities to improve existing skills of the workforce, in order to run more effectively and focus on the target of improving the quality of workforce based on the potential and the needs of the users in their respective regions, "explained Pungky Sumadi.

The SDC model is the result from a development concept agreed in July last year by Bappenas, the Ministry of Manpower, the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Ministry of Industry, and the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce. The power of SDC lies in the collaboration of all related elements creating a solid synergy in addressing labor issues in the regions. SDC is expected to spearhead the Government's efforts to increase labor force participation through bottom up approaches, and for that purpose SDC is designed to implement five functions: training, apprenticeship, competency test, certification and workforce placement.

Director of Manpower and Expansion of Employment Opportunities of Bappenas, Mahatmi Saronto, explained that SDC will play a role to facilitate for students who have not been able to compete. Later they can get additional expertise, which is provided by other agencies. "For example there is a vocational high school held by the Ministry of Industry that provides training so that graduates are qualified. The other non-qualified vocational schools can also go there, so that upon graduation, they will receive the necessary certifications to enable them straight to work," she explained.

In the near future, Bappenas will also carry out the signing of cooperation documents for two other SDC areas, namely Banten Province and Surakarta City. Meanwhile, cooperation documents for other regions are still being prepared, namely Makassar City, North Sumatra Province, East Kalimantan Province, and East Java Province. Thus, by 2018 it is expected that there will be seven locations as SDC pilot projects ready to operate. These seven areas have different characteristics and labor requirements, so that the flexibility and adaptability of the SDC are expected to be tested. If this pilot projects are successful, then this SDC model will be extended to other areas.