Jokowi calls on universities to produce skilled, adaptable workers

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo demanded on Thursday that universities across the country provide relevant knowledge to prepare students to become professionals who can meet global demands for skilled workers.

In his opening speech at the 2017 Rectors Forum Indonesia, Jokowi said universities must always be ready to address current challenges in Indonesia and move swiftly to create programs to deal with them.

Jokowi said, the world is moving very fast. For example, he continued, nowadays online stores are popular in society so it is important to create a department that focuses on teaching courses about online stores in order to teach students how to establish a retail platform.

Jokowi added that with the threat of terrorism on the rise worldwide, universities should prepare human resources that were ready to respond to the global phenomenon.

Jokowi said open competition is undeniable. Traditional markets will be killed by online stores because big countries have already moved to improve their abilities in that sector so that they can build retail platforms.

In addition, Jokowi said vocational schools in Indonesia had also failed to produce qualified workers to fulfill needs in society. He said he recently visited four vocational schools and found that they lacked adequate learning tools to support students in learning specific skills.

Jokowi said 42 percent of workers in Indonesia had graduated from elementary school. Another 66 percent held certificates from elementary school and junior high school. And, he added, 82 percent of them have graduated from elementary school, junior high school, high school and vocational school. The fact is now Indonesia has to speed up to upgrade the skills of workers.



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