“The availability of skilled workers has become an important factor in supporting the development of the industry as this sector absorbs a vast number of workers,” said chief of Industry Human Resources Development Agency (BPSDMI) at the Industry Ministry Arus Gunawan on Thursday.
He made the statement after virtually inking a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with seven paper manufacturers for opening a higher education program equivalent to Diploma 1 (D1) on paper technology.
The event was also attended by the chief of the Center for Pulp and Paper (BPPK) and Indonesian Cellulose Foundation (YASI).
The graduates of the program will be placed in the seven companies -- PT. Eco Paper Indonesia, PT. Surabaya Mekabox, PT. Kertas Padalarang, PT. Enggal Subur Kertas, PT. Pemalang Agro Wangi, PT. Budi Makmur Perkasa, as well as PT. Indah Kiat Pulp and Paper Tbk Serang Mill, Gunwan informed.
The program will help 899 students gain vocational education and work directly in the industry, he said. The students will come from 10 provinces and 12 districts/cities across Indonesia, he added.
“The demand for human resources in the pulp and paper industry reached 241,661 people in 2020, meanwhile, this number is expected to rise by as many as 10,563 workers this year,” he revealed.
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Director of PT Indah Kiat Pulp and Paper Tbk Serang Mill, Heppy Moiras, said he supports the program as it will be crucial for providing skilled human resources that cannot be obtained through regular educational programs.
Iken Retnowulan, chief of the Industry Vocation Education Development Center, said the Polytechnic of Industrial Management Institute (STMI), Jakarta will offer the vocation program through the Polymer Chemical Engineering Undergraduates Program.
“The study will be completed in two semesters with a total of 43 credits. Meanwhile, the Industrial Work Practice will be conducted in the respective supporting manufactures and BPPK’s laboratory,” she said.
The Polytechnic of STMI Jakarta has seen two batches of the higher education program equivalent to Diploma 1 (D1) on Heavy-duty Equipment, run by the Industrial Technic Undergraduates Program in cooperation with PT. Komatsu Indonesia, she added.
The government is confident of the competitiveness of the industry as Indonesian pulp manufacturers have managed to reach the 8th position in global rankings, meanwhile, paper producers are in the 6th position, the agency chief noted.
Domestic and export requests for pulp and paper products are still promising, he said. Together with the rise in e-commerce, they will boost the growth of Indonesian pulp and paper production, he added.
Despite the pandemic, global demand for pulp and paper products still rose 2.1 percent. Meanwhile, domestic demand has surged 63 percent in the last five years.
In 2019, Indonesia's national paper production reached 10.1 million tons, with consumption at 6.3 million tons. Meanwhile, the export potential of pulp was recorded at 5.3 million tons.
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