ILO and Apindo team up to develop skills of the future

Rapid industrial change due to digitalization and automation is inevitable. While digitalization and automation have eliminated many technical jobs, they have created new jobs that require a new set of soft skills beyond technical. Companies need to recognize the skills of the future in the areas digitalization and automation cannot do well.

News | Jakarta, Indonesia | 12 December 2019
Company members of Apindo actively participated in the joint soft skills training
Recognizing the importance of soft skills development, particularly in the era of digitalization, the Indonesian Employers' Association (Apindo), with support from the ILO, conducted a pilot soft skills training for the members of Apindo on 9 December in Jakarta. Soft skills have now become the most sought after abilities by employers over the next half decade.

“Machines cannot communicate, make decision, think creatively and sympathize to others like humans do. These non-technical skills should be developed and sharpened so that workers are ready to face challenges of the future of work,” explained Jordi Prat Tuca, the Technical Officer for Enterprise Development and Skills of the ILO’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok who also acted as the facilitator of the training.

I have been hiring many talented people who have excellent technical skills, but they often lack soft skills. Equipping the employees with soft skills is critical to maintain companies’ productivity and face the challenge of fast-changing industrial landscape."

Bob Azam, Deputy of Employment of Apindo
Thus, he applauded the initiative taken by Apindo to empower its members in skills development. “Through a joint effort with Apindo, we can reach to wider and greater business sectors as a way to provide necessary skills for both workers and employers to compete in the future labour market,” he added.

Similarly, Bob Azam, Deputy of Employment of Apindo, highlighted the benefits of soft skills for both workers and employers. “I have been hiring many talented people who have excellent technical skills, but they often lack soft skills. Equipping the employees with soft skills is critical to maintain companies’ productivity and face the challenge of fast-changing industrial landscape,” Bob stated.


Machines cannot communicate, make decision, think creatively and sympathize to others like humans do. These non-technical skills should be developed and sharpened so that workers are ready to face challenges of the future of work."

Jordi Prat Tuca, the Technical Officer for Enterprise Development and Skills of the ILO’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok
Around 26 company members of Apindo participated in this pilot training. They admitted that many companies have conducted soft skills trainings; however, these trainings were mostly targeted to managerial level above. An inclusive training for all employees was considered high-cost and time consuming.

“The challenge is how to make this important soft skills training available for all company’s employees,” said Yiska Amelia, HRLD Assistant Manager of PT Asuransi MSIG Indonesia.

Responding to this challenge, the ILO through its Workforce Readiness and Development Programme Project, with support from J.P Morgan Chase Foundation, has developed a set of soft skills modules called In Business Soft Skill Training, consisting of 14 modules.

This session has provided us with a new perspective that soft skills training can be applicable for all."

Yiska Amelia, HRLD Assistant Manager of PT Asuransi MSIG Indonesia
Different from other training programme, each module in In Business programme sets out techniques and worksheets to guide participants through four practical steps—starting from learning a business case and concluding with development of action plans.

Out of the 14 modules, this pilot training focused on two modules on problem solving and creative thinking. The participating companies considered these two soft skills as necessary and important skills to be effectively applied in their companies.

“This session has provided us with a new perspective that soft skills training can be applicable for all,” added Yiska, appreciating the participatory approach used in the training.

The ILO facilitated the joint training
Appreciated the enthusiasm shown by the participants, Bob Azam hoped that the participants could share what they have learnt and to organize a similar training at their own company. “I hope that we can continue developing better skills development programme for our employees, especially soft skills that might never be replaced by machines,” he stated.