Developing the Workforce in Indonesia through Education


Syarif Hamdi


Summary Points:

  • Vocational education is the key to developing and generating a quality workforce among the large population of Indonesia
  • Foundations are working towards providing sustainable work opportunities for the unskilled and unemployed
  • Programs are implemented with the aim of making students employable with varied soft and hard skills and entrepreneurial skills.

In support of our members’ work, AVPN has been partnering with YCAB Foundation to host a series of events with the objective of expanding the resource provider network in Indonesia. To mark its genesis, we launched a panel discussion on the 15th of March on the topic of Inclusive Development through Education Initiatives, which aimed to highlight the crucial role of education in generating quality workforce. Moderated by AVPN CEO Naina Subberwal Batra, the panelists were:

According to AVPN’s membership survey, Indonesia is one of the top three most active markets. Other than the country’s potential as an influencer to the future of the global economy by 2030, the diversity and vast size of the country provides many opportunities for AVPN members to step in. One of the country’s largest assets —its large working population— can catapult the country’s growth if managed correctly. On the other end, if managed poorly, this working population can easily become a liability.

Creating Sustainable Work Opportunities: Vocational Education

Our three panelists shared their diverse programs to provide sustainable work opportunities to the unemployed and the unskilled. One of the highly quoted ideas from the discussion included providing vocational education as a potential to help scale livelihoods. Djarum Foundation believes that it is important to look at the vocational job market and see where the high demand is. The reason for this focus is data-driven — by focusing vocational education on high-demand markets, Djarum believes that the graduates will receive higher earnings. For example, census data shows that most job opportunities do not require graduates to have high grades in Math and languages. Hence, instead of focusing on traditional core subjects as part of the vocational curriculum, pedagogies can focus on more industry-relevant pedagogies.

To exemplify this point, Japfa Foundation matches vocational school students that are learning to farm with on-site training, market opportunities, and social entrepreneurship concepts. Howerver, Japfa assessed that many of the farming school graduates do not choose the profession because they are interested in the sector, but because of their lack of access to other education programs. To encourage a change in behaviour, Japfa builds the capacity of the school’s leadership team to instill the importance of the agriculture sector in the students.

Grooming Unemployed Youths for Sustainable Livelihoods

YCAB is taking a unique path by ensuring that their programs target school dropouts instead of those enrolled in an educational institution. These programs provide unemployed youths with hard and soft skills in order to find sustainable jobs, e.g. hairdressing, electric engineering, and batik crafting among others. Aside from connecting these graduates to job positions provided by YCAB’s partners, the Foundation also provides the students with entrepreneurial skills to pursue a career building their own businesses. These inclusive initiatives aim to enable unemployed youth and dropouts to find or create sustainable livelihoods for themselves.

An Ongoing Conversation — Key to Developing a Working Population

Despite many initiatives addressing the issue from different perspectives, scaling these programs to reach the rest of the population is still required. Having conversations about findings and learnings, both on successes and failures, are also critical. To keep the conversation alive, AVPN is hosting a track in Education at our 2018 Conference, where delegates can learn about our members’ work and find new ways to collaborate. For more information, contact us at [email protected]

Interested to participate in events revolving around developments in Indonesia? Please reach out to [email protected].



A. Environmental Stewardship
To protect the environment, we organize programmes like mangrove nursery and Reforestation, Coastal and River Clean-Up, Community Based Environmental Solid Waste Management, Environmental IEC Campaign and Eco-Academy

B. Food Security and Sustainable Livelihood
To ensure a sustainable livelihood for the community, eco-tourism include Buhatan River Cruise Visitor Center Buhatan River Mangrove Boardwalk are run by the community. Others include Organic Vegetable and Root crops Farming, Vegetable and Root crops Chips and by-products Processing and establishing a Zero waste store.

C. Empowered Communities
To empower the community, we provide product and Agri-Enterprise Development Training, Immersion and Learnings Exchange Program, Earth Warrior Training and Community Based Social Entrepreneurship Training


Syarif Hamdi

Syarif joined AVPN in early 2017 as an intern and is now an Assistant Digital Transformations Manager focusing on the Data Management aspect in AVPN. He is an avid excel enthusiast who enjoys discussing case studies and leading brainstorming sessions on database architecture and design. His largest project to-date involved organisation-wide change management to deliver new sets of operational excellence processes resulting in a Productivity Gain of 55% through automation and improved data structure. He was also previously based in Jakarta as AVPN’s Indonesia Representative, and as such has built a strong network with key players in the social sector that are both based in-and-outside of Indonesia. In his spare time, Syarif looks for volunteering opportunities in education or data initiatives across the region. If not located in front of his computer, you can find Syarif in a local climbing gym, solving bouldering problems.

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