While Statistics Indonesia (BPS) has reported decreased unemployment, some university graduates still find it difficult to secure jobs. This complaint concerns the imbalance between the bachelor’s and applied higher education sectors.
“In response to Presidential Regulation No. 68 of 2022 regarding vocational education and training revitalization, one of the key aspects is that vocational cooperation will form when the collaboration ecosystem is established first,” said the Vice Dean for Research and Community Engagement at the UGM Vocational College, Wiryanta, during the launch of the Vocational Partnership Ecosystem on Wednesday (September 20).
“This ecosystem is defined as a conducive situation for cooperation. It is undeniable that our alumni complain about job hunting difficulties. However, on the employers’ side, industries struggle to find workers.”
“This means there are job vacancies, but out of 900,000, only 1,600 are filled. So, where do the rest go?”
Adjusting the Merdeka Belajar Kampus Merdeka initiated by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology requires strong cooperation between applied schools and industries.
The relationship between the supply and demand for human resources has yet to be maximized. The hindrance to workforce absorption lies in the mismatch between the required competencies and the available human resources.
For these reasons, the UGM Vocational College initiated cooperation with various industries through the DU/DI (World of Internship, World of Industry) Internship Program.
“At present, universities cannot stand alone. We are trying to promote alignment between industry needs and education at universities. Hopefully, this cooperation can help industries find suitable competencies, and ultimately, workforce absorption can increase,” said Dr. Uuf Brajawidagda, Acting Director of Partnerships and Alignment of DU/DI.
This program also encourages research tailored to Yogyakarta’s local cases and community needs. This way, universities can continue to contribute to the local community.
According to Robby Kusumaharta, Vice Chair of the Organization & Membership Division of KADIN DIY, the pandemic continues to impact today significantly.
“If we look at the open unemployment figures from February 2021 to 2023, there has indeed been a decrease. However, it is still not fully recovered from the pandemic. Then, if we examine the breakdown in more detail, we find that villages are experiencing an increase in unemployment,” he said.
“Of course, there is a contribution from the increase in the labor force. But, this situation is also caused by the fact that after the pandemic, people who used to work formally outside the city have returned to Yogyakarta. This number is quite significant.”
This issue aligns with the goal of the Yogyakarta Regional Manpower Office to reduce the number of open unemployment cases.
There are at least three main targets: creating job opportunities, establishing a conducive industrial relationship to develop businesses and improve worker welfare, and enhancing competitiveness in the workforce.
Developing a vocational partnership ecosystem aims to address these issues from the source by providing opportunities for applied students to gain direct experience and innovate for the community.
“Yogyakarta has valuable assets that other regions do not have, namely the Sultanate’s land, which is village land. In other places, they might need to buy it, but here, it can serve as a playground for students to create innovations supported by universities. They can also receive training and mentoring from industries. I think this has great potential,” added Kusumaharta.