JAKARTA – During a national conference on labor jointly hosted by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ministry of Manpower, U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) Michael F. Kleine congratulated Indonesia for the country’s recent achievements creating a more inclusive workforce for vulnerable groups, including young people, people with disabilities, and women. While Indonesia’s national economy has grown over the past two decades, this development has not been evenly distributed for all members of society. The United States Government through USAID has improved employment conditions for poor and marginalized groups.
“The United States Government is committed to helping Indonesia strengthen its human capital and increase workforce productivity. For the last five years, USAID partnered with the Ministry of Manpower to equip vulnerable and low-income youth with the skills and resources they need to reach their full potential and contribute to Indonesia’s economy. With the new skills and resources, they are ready to compete in the 21st century job market,” said DCM Kleine.
Obtaining a job is an important life event and helps individuals become active contributors of the economy. However, this process has been difficult for people with disabilities, youth, and women due to discrimination. To address these market entry barriers, USAID partnered with the Ministry of Manpower to improve skills of job seekers and increase internship opportunities through Vocational Training Centers. The three-day conference, titled “An Inclusive Workforce and Entrepreneurship Initiative,” highlights the partnerships and successes of the Mitra Kunci project.
USAID’s investments have created job-matching platforms to connect employers to job seekers. To date, 425 instructors from 234 vocational training centers across Java have utilized platforms funded by USAID.
Beyond expanding employment opportunities, USAID also promoted gender and social inclusion in alignment with national laws. To date, over 1,200 Indonesian companies have participated in workforce development training funded by the U.S. Government, including 644 companies under the Mitra Kunci program in collaboration with the Indonesian Employers’ Association (APINDO). More than 44,000 women and 300 employees with disabilities have benefited from these opportunities.
Minister of Manpower Ida Fauziah said, “Inclusivity is the mandate of the constitution. The government works hand-in-hand with many stakeholders to create an inclusive workforce and supportive ecosystem for entrepreneurs. One of the things we need to improve is the access to skill training and other opportunities for vulnerable groups such as young people, women, and persons with disabilities, so they could find meaningful employment. I would like to thank the US Government for their partnership with the Government of Indonesia on inclusive economic development. I would also like to thank other parties involved and hope that this synergy carries on.”
With Mitra Kunci ending, the U.S. Government will continue supporting Indonesia’s priorities to increase workforce productivity and inclusion. USAID will continue to build the capacity of higher education and skills training institutions in aligning their activities with the business needs.
USAID Mitra Kunci is one of the U.S. Government’s inclusive economic growth initiatives in Indonesia, which demonstrates the breadth of engagement under the U.S.-Indonesia Strategic Partnership.