Addressing Indonesia’s Supply-Demand Gap in Human Resources

AmCham stalwart Peter Meyer speaks about the ‘MAGANG’ model at national workshop

By Christ Ponderosa
Thursday, April 12, 2018

At the National Workshop on Assessing Entrepreneurship Curricula and Models, AmCham’s Peter Meyer, the chair of our Services Committee, spoke on the human resources supply and demand gap in Indonesia. He also said educators, together with the government, could create entrepreneurship curricula guidelines to help address the gap, citing the “MAGANG” apprenticeship program, past initiative of Dewan Asuransi Indonesia. 

The event was a collaboration between the Ministry of Research, Technology, and Higher Education (Ristekdikti) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The two-day workshop brought Indonesian educators together and others in an attempt to produce a framework for entrepreneurship curricula.

Held on March 9-10 at the Century Park Hotel in Jakarta, the event was filled with group discussions and presentations; a framework book is being produced from the discussions to serve as a syllabus guideline for higher education institutions in Indonesia.

Representing USAID’s Mitra Kunci Initiative, chief of party LeRoy Hollenbeck said in his opening remarks that “this is not an attempt to standardize everything,” and that educators should tailor the guidelines to the needs of their students.

The “MAGANG” program cited by Meyer is an apprenticeship program targeting underprivileged high school graduates, in which sponsoring companies provide pocket money, a food allowance, transportation and tuition for selected candidates to pursue an undergraduate degree from Universitas Trisakti. In exchange for such financial support, the candidates learn hands-on by working for the sponsoring company three days a week.

The program was modeled after the success of the German vocational school system, which began as a collaboration between Germany’s Ministry of Education and the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Meyer said, “professionalism will be the headline in the future,” thereby underscoring the importance for 21st century education systems to ensure workplace readiness.

When asked how to determine what constitutes entrepreneurial competency, Meyer encouraged educators to work closely with the private sector – be it through the chambers, or with individual companies – to identify needed skills sought after in the market. By treating entrepreneurship as a profession, the supply and demand gap can hopefully be reduced.

Meyer also warned educators against focusing narrowly on the emerging technology industry, and encouraged them to pay more attention to more traditional lines of businesses, including those in the services sector.

Meyer also urged the private sector to finance programs similar to “MAGANG” to guarantee a replenishable supply of qualified and globally ready human resources and leaders, especially for students who cannot afford higher education.

Meyer ended his session by reminding educators that while the “MAGANG” program itself could provide exposure for entrepreneurs to various aspects of running a business, the point was not simply to recreate “MAGANG.” Instead, the event was a platform to facilitate the creation of entrepreneurs and a supporting ecosystem that can go beyond merely teaching entrepreneurship to doing entrepreneurship.

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