Tangerang, Banten (ANTARA) - Vice President Ma’ruf Amin on Thursday expressed the hope that regional community job training centers (BLKs) located in Islamic boarding schools (pesantren) would help bring down the extreme poverty rate in Indonesia.

“The hope is they can support the acceleration of extreme poverty eradication in accordance with the target for 2024,” he said at the inauguration of 525 Community BLKs and the Community BLK Independence Festival here.

He added that to keep the wheels of the national economy running, the government needs to direct the Community BLK development program in areas grappling with extreme poverty.

The government is also seeking to optimize Indonesia’s workforce, whose number reached 146 million in 2023 as per data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS).

“One of the ways to realize it is the development of community job training centers in various areas in the country,” he said.

According to Amin, to develop Community BLKs as centers of community-based competency development, various breakthroughs and strategic steps are needed.

One of them is developing Community BLKs so that they are connected and in harmony with industries, especially those located near the centers.

Furthermore, support from regional governments is needed to ensure the training centers can help resolve employment issues.

“For leaderships of pesantren and santri (pesantren students) whose pesantren have Community BLKs, please manage the available facilities and infrastructure well and optimize the use sustainably,” he said.

He then lauded the Ministry of Manpower for making several breakthroughs to improve the workforce’s competence.

“I hope that Community BLKs can continue to develop their quality and governance, especially those within the scope of non-government religious educational institutions, such as pesantren and trade unions," Amin said.

Meanwhile, Manpower Minister Ida Fauziyah said that her ministry remains committed to accelerating job training through the development of Community BLKs as part of Indonesia’s workforce quality improvement agenda.

“Alhamdulillah (thank God), as of 2023, the number of Community BLKs that have been set up is 4,282,” she added.

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Translator: Azmi Syamsul, Raka Adji
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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