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One of the primary goals of any education system is to prepare its students for productive employment, yet in Indonesia, more than more than 3.3 million young people between 15 and 24 years old are unemployed and an additional 6.9 aren’t in the workforce. At the same time the country faces an estimated shortfall of 9 million skilled workers by 2030.
Addressing this disconnect between the skills taught in schools and those demanded by employers will be crucial if Indonesia is to meet its target of 7 percent annual GDP growth.
Vocational training is one such opportunity, but schools often do a poor job of explaining the potential rewards: 42 percent of students said they were unsure which careers offered high wages, for example, while many students do not view vocational occupations as being prestigious. Even where there is an interest, the development of practical skills can be limited by a lack of hands-on training opportunities.
Opportunities for change exist through:
- Changing the perception of vocational training and employment
- Short 2-3 month vocational boot camps that can deliver quick results
- Revise curriculums as well as improving teachers’ skills
- Train teachers to utilize new technology, rather than providing the technology alone and expecting it to result in change
- Facilitating collaboration between industry and academia
- Developing industry endorsed qualifications
- Providing market information to both students and their parents