BackgroundGlobally, maritime sectors have maintained growth momentum with increasing demand for a skilled workforce. As Indonesia aspires to become a prosperous maritime nation, the government prioritises new and innovative approaches to education and vocational training.
Indonesia’s maritime higher education (HE) and technical and vocational education and training (TVET) systems can play a vital role in preparing the Indonesian workforce to meet the growing demand for occupational skills that meet international standards. Strengthening the capacity and improving the fragmented governance of these systems are thus essential and timely.
Some challenges remain. The ongoing mismatch between skills offered by individuals and the demands of the job market has made school-to-work transition of HE/TVET graduates a daunting task.
As demand for high skilled workers in maritime increases, public financing of HE/TVET requires a joint contribution by the private sector to keep pace with the expected growth in the industry.
Meanwhile, there is still room for improvement in gender equality and social inclusion in the sector. Women wishing to pursue and advance their careers usually face discrimination. Recruiters prefer men to women. Living quarters on board ships lack separate facilities for women. Even though existing small-scale local businesses in coastal areas are part of the maritime economy, they offer little more than subsistence income.
The Skills for Prosperity Programme in Indonesia (SfP-Indonesia) works with government, the maritime industry, trade unions, international and local education and training institutions and other partners to address these key challenges.
ObjectivesThe SfP-Indonesia programme aims to improve the country’s skills development policies and systems, and enhance employability and future-readiness of young women and men -including those from disadvantaged groups - aspiring to pursue and advance careers in the maritime industry.
As part of the Skills for Prosperity in South-East Asia Programme (SfP-SEA), SfP-Indonesia aims for four areas of achievement.
Improved equityImproving equity in access to maritime education, training and employment of under-represented groups including women and promoting gender-neutral and harassment-free maritime workplaces are central to this goal. The programme also aims to increase economic opportunities for these marginalised populations.
To achieve this goal, the programme works with stakeholders to review policies, regulations and the maritime labour market and then provides recommendations on career opportunities for the marginalised groups. Additionally, the programme advocates for workforce diversity and workers’ rights. It also provides entrepreneurial skills training to women in impoverished coastal regions and makes business and financial services available for them.
Ultimately, the programme aims for changes in regulations, strategies and policies that create barriers for the marginalised groups to access maritime education and training.
Improved qualityImproving the quality and international competitiveness of maritime education and training is of utmost importance for the sector to meet the growing and changing demand for high-skilled labour.
The programme engages international maritime HE/TVET institutions to assist selected polytechnics with improving their curricula and pedagogy and adopting digital technologies in their teaching.
Given the international nature of many maritime jobs, the programme also helps the polytechnics enhance their vocational English teaching programmes so that they can function as the regional “centres of excellence”.
Additionally, the programme works on anticipating future skills demand and facilitates the formulation of sector skills and workforce development strategies which are responsive to the industry growth and transformation. This effort aims to improve future readiness of HE/TVET graduates.
Enhanced industry relevanceAiming to reduce the skills mismatch, the programme works to strengthen industry involvement in maritime education and training.
It promotes the development of a maritime sector skills body to enhance the coordination of skills development policy initiatives among public and private stakeholders and strengthen the connection between skills, wages and employment.
The programme also enhances partnerships between maritime companies and HE/TVET institutions to provide work-based learning, including apprenticeships.
As industry has emphasised the importance of core and soft skills, the programme aims for the integration of this area of competency in maritime curricula and training programmes.
Improved cost-effectivenessAiming to improve efficiency, sustainability and equity in financing of maritime HE/TVET, the programme facilitates stakeholder dialogue on diversification of funding sources, enhancements to cost effectiveness in education and training and alternative options for greater joint public-private cost-sharing.
The programme will develop and propose a targeted financial support scheme that would increase training provision as well as performance-based funding allocation for maritime HE/TVET. This should help make TVET more affordable for students.