National VET Policies and practices in Indonesia

Workshop on the application of ‘Vocational Education and training Institution: A Management Handbook and CD-ROM
(OVTA, Chiba, Japan, 14-17 February 2006)

Written Comment on
Documented national VET policies and practices in the areas of four strategic objectives

By Didik P. Sumbodo – Indonesia

I. National and local VET objectives, priorities and target groups
The Objectives of VET in Indonesia
○ Indonesia should have a system where entry-level and existing workers could acquire skills that are truly required by the productive sectors of its economy, and could obtain certifications evidencing their skills.
○ Vocational Education and Training is important in developing manufacturing industries. Skills improvements should be fit into innovation, entrepreneurial efforts, comprehensive management of performance, quality improvement and work transfer flexibilities.
○ A good Vocational Education and Training would provide necessary skills to the workforce, along with the necessary knowledge bases for developing the skills, work attitudes, and abilities to the extent that they would allow immediate adjustments to any future change, including new technology development.

The Priorities of VET in Indonesia
○ Indonesia should have a system where entry-level and existing workers could acquire skills that are truly required by the productive sectors of its economy, and could obtain certifications evidencing their skills.
○ There are currently (2005) 95,73 workforce which will still in active duties for the next 20 years. They should have equal opportunities to attend training and retraining program(s). New workforces should obtain skills that would fit labor market demand to the extent that they would serve as significant contributions in obtaining good jobs.
○ Indonesia requires a system where either participants or workers have equal opportunities to obtain more flexible education and training.
○ The current sistem is still rigid in nature. One form of the flexibilities would be recognition of the learned subjects.
○ Before demonstrating the evidence of improved performances, there should be bridging courses or bridging training, strong bases of skills and knowledge developments, to the extents that the workforces would always have abilities to continuously improve their masteries and skills as lifelong processes. The existence of skills training directly fit into the productive sectors requirements will also trigger on-the-job learning activities.
○ The greater the number of Link and Match System participants, then the easier the industries will obtain skilled workers who fit their needs.

The Target Groups of VET in Indonesia
○ The targets of Vocational Education and Training in Indonesia are high schools students who currently joining vocational high schools, high school graduates who were looking for jobs, college and university graduates who are looking for jobs and the existing workers who want to improve their skills seeking better pays/promotions and/or planning outplacements/transfer to the better workplaces.
○ According to the BPS national statistic data of 2005, the number of Indonesia open unemployment are 10,22 millions or 9,86 percent of the overall workforces. Of the open unemployment, elementary school graduates unemployment is 35%, Junior High School Graduate unemployment is 24,66%, Senior High School Graduates unemployment us 25,19%, Vocational High School Graduates Unemployment is 10,60%, College Graduates unemployment is 2,10% and University Graduates unemployment is 2,63%. Consequently, the main target groups of Vocational Education and Training in Indonesia are Senior High Schools Graduates, Vocational High School Graduates, College and University Graduates who are seeking entry-level jobs.

Follow-up Mechanism of the Objectives and Priorities
○ The development of “competency-based” system has many advantages on the part of industries, in term that all of the skills were being translated based on the real demands of these industries.
○ The development of a competency-based training system initiates with the establishment of committees of industry families who will subsequently cooperate with the vocational instructors to develop a set of skills standards directly associated with the real demand of workplaces.
○ The development of a competency-based system using skill standards established by the industries and could be applied as bases of curriculum, instruction materials, evaluation and certification developments.
○ The development of standards which would be required in anticipating the varieties of future demands.

II. National VET policies and legislation:

Laws and Policies regulating training and education in Indonesia

○ Education in Indonesia is being regulated under the National Education System Law, while training in Indonesia is being regulated under The Labor Law.
○ Vocational Training in Indonesia is being regulated under the Law No.20, 2003 of the National Educational System. The vocational education consists of the formal levels, including the vocational high schools and diploma educational programs. In addition, there are informal educational levels in form of courses and training institutions. The outputs of such informal educational levels will equivalent to the output of the corresponding formal educational level after passing evaluation processes.
○ The vocational education policies are under the authorization of the Minister of National Education to achieve policies’ outcomes of developing:
1. A system paced by labor market demand and guidance
2. Educational and vocational system providing the teaching of competencies based on nationally accepted standards
3. Educational and vocational system with link-and-match input and output and flexible deliveries.
4. A system that explicitly recognize any skill and competency disregard of where and how the skill has been acquired.
5. Education and training system that refers to accredited provision and vocation.
6. Education and training for either formal or informal sector
7. Full integration between education and training
8. Decentralized management system
9. Self-help and Self-managed institutions where part of the subsidies come from The Central Government.
○ Vocational Training in Indonesia is being regulated under the Law No. 13, 2003 of Labor Affairs. The law specifies training as follows:
1. Job trainings are administered by government-owned job training institutions and/or privately-owned job training institutions.
2. Job training could be held at training sites or at the workplaces.
3. The government-owned training institutions are allowed to appoint their private partners.
4. Privately-owned job training institutions are required to have formal permit or to register themselves to labor authorities in their respective districts/municipals.
○ The vocational training policies are under the authority of the Minister of Labor in either off-service or in-house training activities, which are directed to
1. Job training in all activities for providing, acquiring, improving and developing job competencies, productivities, disciplines, attitudes and ethics in certain skills and expertise required by the level and qualification of each position.
2. Require the companies who employ 100 (one hundred) or more workforces to improve competencies of their workforces through job trainings
3. Job trainings to cover al least 5% (five percent) of the overall workforces of these companies per annum.
4. Require the company to full-finance the job training activity costs.
5. Give the company options to administer either in-house or off-service (in training institution sites) training activities.
6. Give the company option to administer apprenticeship system-based job trainings.
7. Require the companies or institutions administering the job trainings to grant training graduation certificates to the participants they consider have passed the training.
8. Specifies that workers have equal rights to obtain job-competency recognition after attending (and passing) government-sponsored job-training, privately-owned institutions administered job training or on-the job training.

About Indonesia National-Wide Employment Laws
○ Indonesia Legislation associated with employment and labor relationships is being specified under the Labor Law of 2003. The law is comprehensively adequate in promoting and regulating labor employment.
○ In addition to labor affairs, labor educational system is also been specified under the educational system law that specifically stresses the important of vocational education based on competencies which should be aligned to the demands of industrial worlds

The Positive and Negative Impacts of these Laws and Policies on the abilities of the national VET to function effectively and in a flexible manner

○ The coexistence of two comparable Laws specifying vocational education and training in Indonesia, and the coexistence of two ministerial departments in charge of educational affairs and training affairs reduce the degree of coordination of focuses and synergies in administering educational and training programs with industrial world. There is an impression that there are overlapping and competing program operations among these departments in fulfilling the industries’ needs.
○ On the part of the industries, they reduce focus in their responses to the demands of the educational and training institutions in accommodating internship participant or in post-internship placements, which would in turn reduce the efficacies of these vocational education and training programs.

III. The Efficacies of the National VET System (Whether or not the training delivery meets the national objectives, priorities and needs of the target groups).

The Evaluation of the National VET System Efficacy
○ The main constrains faced by educational and training institutions are, inter alia, as follows:
1. Geographical Diversities
2. Diversities in readiness and advancement levels of the vocational schools and training institutions
3. Diversities in the program of each vocational high schools and training institutions which were not compatible with the diversities of the adjacent industries.
○ The constrains felt by the industries:
1. They do not have a stable position and expertise structures, especially among small and middle scales industry members
2. The do not allocate costs in educational/training development efforts.
3. The have not a clear perception of internship advantages for industries, and
4. Lack of consciousness of effectiveness, efficiency and quality improvement due to the industrial training program operations.
○ In the meanwhile, some of the constrains faced in link-and-match educational system operations are as follows:
1. Teachers and instructors have not been function optimally in industries, and in some cases they have irrelevant field backgrounds.
2. There are some difficulties in building cooperation with industry counterparts of middle and large scale origins.
3. The low level of training participant management on the part of the industries, especially small scale one.
4. Large numbers of the industries are unqualified and lack of effective participations.
5. Large number of students independently search their own industrial training centers
6. Lack of time spent by the schools and training institutions in building coordination.
7. Delayed time in completing licenses and permits to hold training.
8. Lack of disciplines and low concern on the part of the participants in job safety,
9. Wide discrepancies between the numbers of vocational high schools and the numbers of industry’s members.

VET Programs administered by the training institutions who objectively meet the local and national objectives:
○ The facilities of vocational high schools and training institution vary in qualities and types. All of these vocational high schools, however, should provide their best vocational educational services to their students as well as industrial world as user on either local or national level. They are also need improvement objectives the measures of which are the achievement of these very objectives.
○ The vocational high schools and training institutions are encouraged to provide commercial educational and training programs for companies and their communities as parts of the efforts to fulfill industrials demands and priorities.
○ Quality improvement through ‘best practice’ and quality application should form an institutional program of the entire vocational high schools and training institutions.
○ Improving teacher qualities is an important task in the effort of improving services to local industrial demands.
○ The Government could devise varieties of means to encourage companies’ participations in training efforts, to the extent that it would build an agreement between the Government and industrial word to identify the best methods.

IV. The efficiency of the national VET system ( whether or not the VET system/institutions are concerned with the efficient use of public resources and whether or not the training unit costs are known and under control)

Mechanism in assessing training efficiencies

○ Assessing the efficiencies of the VET operations requires a national structure to the extent that industrial skill standards serve as evaluation frame of reference.
○ It was expected that a National Board would serve as a vehicle of pioneering efforts among industries involved in efficiency evaluations.
○ There is an urgent need to establish a Vocational Skills Standards Operating unit on national level, as evaluating organization.
○ Industrial Training groups (ITG) should be established to develop standards for each industrial sector.
○ These groups will also help in the development of curriculum, subject matters and evaluation instruments.
○ Skill testing processes would be administered by the national bodies and local test centers which would be appointed based on agreed-upon standardized guidance.
○ Common agreement on these standardized planed should be elicited.

V. Training quality assurance (whether or not the national VET system is concerned with the quality of knowledge and skills required by students)

Mechanism of Institutional quality and VET qualification assurances
○ There are currently large numbers of educational and training institution who need quality improvement. The methods of quality improvement such as Total Performance Management and Benchmarking are parts of the routine activities on the part of the successful industries. The similar methods could be adopted on the processes of vocational education and training for the main reason that these processes are focused themselves to the needs of labor market dynamics.
○ Both public or private vocational high schools and training institutions as well should obtain training on the methods of the management improvement for their respective schools to achieve the above-mentioned conditions.
○ The Performance Commitment among the vocational high schools and training institutions would empower them in delivering their services to fulfill the industries needs and their participants’ interest in efficient manner.

VI. Ensuring equitable access to VET ( whether or not the national VET system and institutions are concerned with the provision of equal access to training opportunities and employment to students from different backgrounds, genders, locations, etc.)

Mechanism of equitable access for students from different backgrounds:

○ There is no clear mechanism in assessing how treatments have been provided for those who work either in formal or informal sector. Current concern is still being directed to training activities for those who work in formal sectors. The main reason is that although the relative growth of job opportunities in formal sectors exceeds the informal sector, the informal sectors are still being required to provide job opportunities for high schools graduates with ever increasing in numbers.
○ The mechanism and access to vocational education and training between urban industrial sectors and rural agricultural sectors were not clear as well. Special attention, therefore, should be given to the vocational training needs of agricultural sectors. Though the trend of labor demands in agricultural sectors is relatively decreasing, but labor absorption level of these sectors is still the largest. The drive to improve agricultural products qualities and quantities for domestic demands is currently started to be felt.

VII. Formulate major unresolved issues, weaknesses and problems in the design and operations of the national VET system and institutions in your country, the solution to which you expect to develop at the workshop through discussions and self learning from the ILO Handbook and CDROM

The Major unresolved issues, weaknesses and problems in the design and operations of the national VET system and institutions in Indonesia

○ For several decades, the vocational high schools in Indonesia are favorite’s schools. Recently, they are only “second class” schools. Junior high schools graduates attending the vocational high schools are generally not having high quality basic abilities. They are generally attend the vocational high schools not for the reason that they really want to attend these schools but for the simply reason that they were not dare to enter or have been disqualified to enroll in senior high schools. On the other hand, the perception that the vocational high schools are ‘inferior’ to the senior high schools are not only being adopted among the general public, but among the educators as wells, and even among educators who teach in vocational high schools.
○ From economic point of view, vocational education has adequately sound foundation as well, although it might be questioned from technical point of view. Actually, as a mean in preparing students to enter job environments, vocational education is an application of human capital theory. Through investments in vocational education it was expected that adequately good feedbacks, either individually or socially, would be produced. Of course, the efficiency and efficacy of the vocational education program on these contexts should be truly demonstrated.
○ It was from the very economic aspect, however, that the vocational high schools (as one of vocational education forms) have drawn many concerns. There are a considerable numbers of studies demonstrating that educational investment in vocational high school has rate of returns lower than that of the senior high schools. It was this empirical demonstration that led to the polemic of whether or not the existence of the vocational high schools is should be preserved, due to the evidences that these vocational high schools were not efficient.
○ In the future, whatever types of education and training it might be, including the vocational high schools and training institutions, they would be challenged to be able to compete with the other institutions. Education would not be understood only as public services anymore, but rather as a form of service delivery similar to restaurants, telecommunication, consulting services etc. Sallis (1993) was properly described how education would be understood as a form of service, not as a production function that we adopt in so far.

Recommendations and Action Plans to Improve the effectiveness, efficiency, quality and Equality in Access to the training operations of the national VET System

○ Vocational high schools should find their own way to improve the prosperities and adequacy (of quantities) of their teachers and provide job opportunities in industries where their students attend their internship programs.
○ In the future, we should change our stereotyped thinking about the vocational high school. It would be important that the educational pattern of the vocational high schools have packages of layered-graded skills, by applying the multi entry-multi exit principle.
○ By the year 2020, Indonesian economy would experience changes and would evolve toward global economy to the extent that industries and their company members will be required to have strong ability to compete in regional and global markets. It is important that, therefore, Indonesia should be able to manage and develop its resources successfully. One of the efforts to improve value added on one of these resources is improving the skills and expertise of the younger generations who will the world of work and retraining and improving the skills and expertise of the existing workforces to the extent that they will stay current in the course of any latest technological development and market change.

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