ILO, UK and Indonesia Build a Highly Skilled and Globally Competitive Maritime Workforce

NEWS-Maximizing student learning processes and equipping them with skills that are in line with global maritime standards and labor market demands are key goals of the new partnership in skills development between the Skills for Prosperity Program in Indonesia (SfP-Indonesia) and Politeknik Negeri Batam (Polibatam) and Politeknik Maritim Negeri Indonesia (Polimarin) which was launched today.

“This SfP-Indonesia program is funded by the British Government,” said the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Thursday (12/8/2021) online from Jakarta. The program works closely with polytechnics to improve the alignment of their curricula upon industry trends and international standards in the maritime sector and strengthen industry engagement.

Through knowledge sharing programs and collaborations with international partners-Solent University and City of Glasgow College-SfP-Indonesia program provides technical support in curriculum improvement and development, capacity building for faculty and academic staff, and enriching student learning processes. Students can get the benefit from interactive skills development through work-based learning and consultation with experts that can support them in finding worthy job.

Renewal of curriculum and teaching materials in accordance with industrial needs, establishment of Industrial Supervisory Boards for each of polytechnic, and promoting structured apprenticeships are some of the programs that will be implemented within the scope of industrial engagement.

City of Glasgow College assists Polibatam in strengthening the D4 International Trade Logistics study program in developing curriculum and teaching materials with international competency standards.

At this launch event, Luhut praised this initiative as an important effort in economic recovery. “I believe this partnership will help improve the quality of a skilled and globally competitive workforce for the maritime industry so that it can become an important pillar of economic performance in this sector,” said Luhut.

During the post-COVID-19 economic recovery, it is imperative that our graduates and workers not merely possess but are also proficient in knowledge and skills that relevant to industry needs and global trends.

Polibatam and Polimarin have a strong focus on maritime education. They are among a number of polytechnics and vocational academies appointed by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology (Kemdikbudristek) as Centres of Excellence for Partnerships that will support other polytechnics in various capacities, including industrial engagement.

Minister of Education, Culture, Research and Technology, Nadiem Anwar Makarim said, “vocational education and training plays an important role in providing quality human resources for Indonesia’s future. I am optimistic that this initiative undertaken by the ILO will be useful to support our efforts to accelerate human resource development.”

Albeit Batam is one of the logistics centers in Indonesia, many skilled workers come from outside the region. Currently, the logistics and international trade study program is the only study program focused on logistics in the region.

Director of Polibatam, Dr. Uuf Brajawidagda emphasized that as a Free Trade Zone, Batam plays a crucial role in international trade. Every day, about 3,000 ships pass through this area to carry out transportation and logistics activities. There is a great demand for skilled human resources in the areas of international trade and logistics. Our Polytechnic has committed to response this demand by continuously improving the curriculum to meet the industry needs.

Consistent with what Uuf said, the Logistics Director of Infineon Technologies Batam, Aldrin Purnomo, said that reliable human resources in the logistics sector should be agile and innovative in making decisions. Close collaboration with Polibatam has been realized for a long time, for example a year’s internship that makes human resources more prepared, practicing lecturers, joint projects, and so on.

As the only maritime school under the Ministry of Education and Culture, Polimarin continues to strive to produce graduates who are globally competitive. The ILO-UK Program will support this effort by transforming a three-year diploma program into a four-year study program equivalent to a bachelor’s degree in shipping engineering.

The Director of Polimarin, Sri Tutie Rahayu emphasized, “as a polytechnic that focuses on maritime education, we are committed to supporting the government’s efforts to strengthen the maritime sector. Our priority is to produce skilled maritime graduates who can compete at national and international levels. Partnerships with educational institutions in the UK bring global perspectives and standards to enrich our curriculum.”

Owen Jenkins, British Ambassador to Indonesia and Timor-Leste said, ”The UK and Indonesia are two proud maritime countries and I am very pleased to be able to support President Joko Widodo’s priority in this sector, to be able to connect 17,000 islands in Indonesia, and to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of trade in goods across the archipelago. This program will help ensure the education of Indonesian students and the workforce in accordance with international standards, using the best skills training, and technical expertise that the UK maritime sector can provide. I look forward to the new partnership launched today to support Indonesia’s economic development.”

Michiko Miyamoto, ILO Director for Indonesia and Timor-Leste, emphasized the importance of skills development in economic recovery. “Skills development and positive reforms in Indonesia’s skills system are critical factors in recovering from a human-centered pandemic, where young people can access education and training that lead to decent job opportunities, and ensure that no one is left behind. This is in line with the economic recovery which will be driven by the growth of a skilled and productive workforce,” said Michiko.

In addition to partnerships with Polibatam and Polimarin, SfP-Indonesia provides technical support for improving the marine engineering curriculum at the Politeknik Perkapalan Negeri Surabaya (PPNS) and international tourism management in Polimanado through international partnerships. The University of Strathclyde is supporting PPNS and the University of Gloucestershire is assisting Polimanado in this process. This program is part of the ILO’s work program in skills development with the government, social partners, and stakeholders in Indonesia.

The SfP-Indonesia program specifically aims to improve skills development policies and systems in Indonesia as an effort to respond to changing skills needs in the evolving maritime industry. This is part of the ILO-UK Skills for Prosperity project in Southeast Asia which is also being undertaken in Malaysia and the Philippines. (adv)

Source Indonesian News: Batam Pos

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