COVID-19: Promoting skills development

Soft skills training to prepare youth entering the world of work

Technology advancement and industrial change have substituted manual jobs with machine and digitalization, requiring humans to acquire new skills to survive in the world of work. While technical skills are still relevant, soft skills play a key role in defining success at work.

News | Jakarta, Indonesia | 21 April 2021
An Indonesian worker at the workplace
The ILO collaborated with the Indonesia Business Links (IBL) have conducted a series of soft skills training for youth and job seekers across Indonesia from March to May 2021. As part of the training, a special webinar on work culture was organized on 17 April, attended by 100 selected training participants.

Hirania Wiryasti, ILO’s Programme Officer for Skills Development, opened the event by highlighting the importance of soft skills for career development. “We believe that soft skills are as important as technical skills. People who are able to work on a team can practice leadership skill, and those who are resilient will be able to conquer all challenges and move forward.”

The event presented Rudy Afandi, an HR Adviser and Professional Coach, who discussed about the work culture and soft skills needed at the workplace, and Lusiani Julia, ILO’s Program Officer for Labour Standard, who talked about labour rights.

Soft skills and labour rights for career development

Rudy highlighted the changes in the world of work due to automation and digitalization. Yet only those with strong characters could survive these changes and grab the opportunities. “Millions of jobs is disappearing, but abundant new jobs are created. Five years ago, a drone operator job is nowhere to be found. It means that only people who have a strong willingness to learn and the ability to adapt can see the opportunities and enter the competition,” he said.

Integrity is one of the top soft skills demanded by the companies

Integrity is not only about honesty, but also about ethic and respect."

Rudy Afandi, an HR Adviser and Professional Coach
Rudy continued with the elaboration of seven soft skills needed for a successful career. The top three soft skills included discipline, integrity and agility. For discipline, for example, it could start as simple as coming to the office on time and following all work procedures.

“Integrity is not only about honesty, but also about ethic and respect. Meanwhile agility grows our initiative and mindset to continue upgrading our skills and never stop learning,” said Rudy.

In addition to soft skills, the event also emphasized the importance of labour have been rights. Lusiani highlighted the concept of ILO’s decent work based on ILO’s declaration on fundamental principles and rights at work that are already adopted by Indonesia into its national laws.

Equality is part of the fundamental labour right
These principles include freedom of association and right to collective bargaining, the elimination of forced or compulsory labour, the abolition of child labour and the elimination of discrimination at the workplace.

Companies must register all their employees to Social Protection Provider (BPJS) for employment regardless of their types of contracts."

Lusiani Julia, ILO’s Program Officer for Labour Standard
Related to the current COVID-19 pandemic, Lusi reminded that the scope of discrimination was not only limited to race and gender but also to disability and diseases. Therefore, employers cannot terminate workers who are contracted with the virus as they have an obligation to ensure employees’ health and safety.

Other important workplace issue was social protection for all workers. “Companies must register all their employees to Social Protection Provider (BPJS) for employment regardless of their types of contracts.”

The event is a part of the initiatives to prepare youth entering the labour market or those who has lost job to re-enter the world of work. The initiative was jointly funded by the Government of Japan (Industry Skills for Inclusive Growth Phase-2 (InSIGHT-2) Project and Fast Retailing Co., Ltd (the Unemployment Protection or UNIQLO Project).