Bogor, Jawa Barat (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has said he believes that the use of digital platforms was key to the success of the Pre-Employment Card Program, especially when the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread in Indonesia.

While delivering directions to Pre-Employment Card beneficiaries during the “#KitaPrakerja Gathering” at the Sentul International Convention Center, Bogor district, West Java, on Friday, Widodo briefly recalled how the program was rolled out on April 11, 2020, only about a month after the first COVID-19 case was detected in Indonesia.

“So, the atmosphere at that time was the atmosphere of COVID. How to prepare a program but the atmosphere was large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) and public activity restrictions (PPKM)," the President remarked.

He then lauded the high level of enthusiasm shown by the people and the workforce in Indonesia for the Pre-Employment Card Program.

The program received up to 115 million registrations, which, after verification, reached 84 million, and so far, 12.8 million people have benefited from the program, he informed.

"This is a very big number, this is a number that is not small, 12.8 million whose productivity has increased, their skills have increased, their work experience has increased because of this training," the President remarked.

He said he believes that this figure could be achieved due to the use of digital platforms.

It was for this reason that the Pre-Employment Card Program could reach and be utilized by all people—from Sabang to Merauke.

"Can we do these ways if we do not use a digital platform? It is impossible, right?" he asked, and the question was answered with shouts of "Right" from program beneficiaries present at the event.

"Platforms like this can only be produced by young people, (for those) who are old like me, it is impossible to make a good platform like this," Widodo remarked.

He also lauded the willingness of young people to join the implementing management (PMO) of the Pre-Employment Card Program, such as the executive director of the program, Denni Puspa Purbasari, and the operations and technology director of the program, Hengki Sihombing.

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"I know that they work in corporations whose salaries are already above Rp150 million. They want to join the implementing management (PMO). I am ashamed to mention because the government's salary is maybe a third, maybe a quarter of (Rp150 million, ed.),” he said.

The Pre-Employment Card Program was one of the programs promised by Widodo during the 2019 Presidential Election campaign and was officially launched in April 2020. Since then, the program has benefited 12.8 million people in the workforce, and it is now entering its 33rd wave.

Widodo said that data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS) has shown that 88.9 percent of pre-employment card beneficiaries have admitted that the program has helped improve their skills.

The “#KitaPrakerja Gathering” was attended by eight thousand pre-employment card beneficiaries from all over Indonesia, along with the Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs and chair of the job creation committee, Airlangga Hartarto, and chief of Presidential Staff and deputy chair of the job creation committee, Moeldoko.

The event was also attended by Minister of Finance, Sri Mulyani Indrawati; Minister of Manpower, Ida Fauziyah; Minister of State Secretary, Pratikno; and Governor of West Java, Ridwan Kamil.

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Translator: Gilang G, Azis Kurmala
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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