There were 5.5 million participants in 2020 and 5.1 million beneficiaries of the pre-employment cards in 2021, Executive Director of the program's Project Management Denni Puspa Purbasari noted in a written statement received here on Friday.
"On September 16, 2021, we re-opened a new registration for batch 21, with a quota of 754,929 people," Purbasari remarked while giving a public lecture at the Indonesian Development Forum.
The forum, titled "The Role of Pre-Employment Card Program in Improving Working Skills," was held by the Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Indonesia, Thursday.
Citing data from Statistics Indonesia in 2020, Purbasari highlighted that unemployment and poverty in Indonesia rose due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2016, the number of poor people in Indonesia had reached 27.76 million, or 10.70 percent of the total population, she remarked.
That figure had continued to decline to 24.79 million, or 9.22 percent, from the overall population, she pointed out. However, she noted that due to the pandemic, the number of poor rose again to 27.55 million, or 10.19 percent.
Last year, 29.12 million people from the working-age group were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, she stated.
Purbasari then detailed that 2.56 million people stopped working, 1.77 million people got laid off, while the working hours of 24.03 million people were reduced.
In addition, she affirmed that 0.76 million people chose to stop working at all and were not keen to look for jobs or start a business, as there were only a few job openings or their business did not fare well.
Data from the pre-employment card program management indicated that 89 percent recipients of the pre-employment card were unemployed when they enrolled in the program, she noted.
Purbasari explained that the figure constituted not only those who were unemployed due to layoffs, but also fresh graduates and those people who chose to stop working.
"This is where the pre-employment card offers a solution not only for those affected by job terminations due to the pandemic, but it also becomes a development program for job seekers and workers, who need to enhance their competence," Purbasari affirmed.
She also emphasized that micro and small businesses can join the program.
Related news: BNI offers myriad benefits to pre-employment card program participants
Related news: Govt to raise budget for pre-employment card program by Rp10 trillion
Related news: Pre-employment card to be budgeted until 2022: VP