Improving human resources to respond to global challenges

However, I need to remind you that big dreams could only be realized if we remain united, optimistic, and confident and dare to face challenges in the face of global competition

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), who has been reelected for the 2019-2024 period, is set to focus on the development of human resources, after intensifying infrastructure constructions in his first term.

Human resources development is one of the five priority programs to be implemented during the second term, he has vowed. At an event called Indonesian Vision held on July 15, 2019, Jokowi expounded his vision and mission which he said was responding to global challenges that are complex, evolving and full of uncertainties and risks.

He has pledged to continue the development of infrastructure, intensify the development of human resources, invite investment that can generate job opportunities, reform structural bureaucracy, and optimize budget utilization that is focused and in line with the target.

"However, I need to remind you that big dreams could only be realized if we remain united, optimistic, and confident and dare to face challenges in the face of global competition. We must be brave and confident so that we could become one of the strongest countries in the world," Jokowi stated before thousands of people.

He has issued orders that the State Budget must be made ready for improvement in the quality of human resources for the next five years.

Vocational schools must be linked to the industry to enable graduates to meet the growing demands of the sector, he reminded earlier.

Some 51 percent of the Indonesian manpower had graduated from elementary school. "We need to address this by providing training," he remarked.

The development of human resources must produce quality manpower with a good character, he noted in a statement on National Education Day May 2, 2019.

Education is important for a nation facing challenges to build its identity, character and dignity, according to him.

"There is no developed country that does not have the infrastructure and quality human resources," Jokowi said during a political speech at the United White Concert at GBK stadium in Senayan, Jakarta April 13, 2019.

Human resource development (HRD) is the key to developing the creative economy, Coordinating Economic Affairs Minister Darmin Nasution has stressed.

"Creative economy is becoming increasingly important by making people as subjects and not objects," Nasution remarked.

To empower human resources by honing creativity, the government has developed a pilot project vocation program with nine local administrations. The government had also updated the curriculum to align with the industry requirements and current conditions.

Implementing the development of human resources in this country, however, would not be easy given the fact that Indonesia's human resource competitiveness was currently lower than that of other Asian countries.

Indonesia ranks 65th out of the 130 countries assessed and is behind Malaysia that came 33rd, Thailand at 40th ranking, the Philippines at 50th ranking, and Vietnam at 64th position, according to a human resource index.

Minister of National Development Planning and Chief of the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) Bambang Brodjonegoro, while addressing the Indonesian Development Forum 2019, drew attention to the challenges facing human resource development.

Several Indonesian workers are engaged in the informal sector and with reportedly low productivity while the manufacturing sector has failed to become the main driver for job creation, he noted.

"Hence, labor-intensive sectors, such as tourism, creative economy, and the digital economy, should be developed into new growth sources," he stated.

Another challenge is that vulnerable groups, such as women and people with disabilities, have poor access to quality job opportunities, he pointed out.

Most susceptible groups work in the informal sector, as they hardly have access to jobs in the formal sector and an inclusive working environment.

"Moreover, the dynamism of demographic burden and rapid technological progress also offer opportunities as well as present challenges to Indonesia to improve its competitiveness," he noted.

Therefore, to respond to those challenges, the development of human resources in Indonesia must be carried out in a holistic and integrated manner, he stated.

To successfully produce capable, adaptive, creative, and innovative human resources, the government must provide basic services and social protection; equal health services and quality education; as well as scientific, technological, and innovative developments, he emphasized.

The country's productive sector must be strengthened to create job opportunities and to address poverty, unemployment, and bridge the social gap.

"Creating quality job opportunities through structural transformation, improvement in the investment climate, increase in entrepreneurship, improvement in the competitiveness of MSMEs (micro small medium enterprises), and social business, are also among crucial focus areas in the development of human resources," the minister added.

Nevertheless, although human resources development will become the focus next year, infrastructure development will not be halted and the government will in fact raise the budget for infrastructure development.

Source: ANTARA News

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