Indonesia has made significant progress on labour reforms and the country should be encouraged by it, International Labor Organization (ILO) Director General Guy Ryder has said.
“We see all of the key legislations of the reformasi (reform) period, trade union legislation, and we have seen Indonesia ratify all eight of the ILOs fundamental conventions,” he told ANTARA here on Wednesday.
ILOs eight fundamental conventions, all of which are endorsed by Indonesia, include the elimination of all forms of forced labour, freedom of association and organization protection, equal wages for men and women, and a minimum age for work.
Bans, and actions relating to dangerous and harmful jobs involving children have also been ratified by Indonesia.
These conventions provide tried and tested, internationally accepted foundations for building sustainable, equitable, economic and social progress as well as essential guarantees of rights and freedom at work.
Although it does not solve all problems, he continued, Indonesia has made massive progress compared to the era before the reforms. Not only should the country be proud of it, but it should also be encouraged by the progress made to achieve even more, he remarked.
“I always come back here and think of the first time I ever visited (in 1996), and I think of where we are today, there is a difference,” he remarked.
The country has also been able to maintain a reasonable rate of growth, but limitations and challenges remain, he noted.
The limits faced by Indonesia include education-related issues, as when the country develops workers will need higher level of skills, he opined.
Meanwhile, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has asked the relevant ministries and state-owned companies (BUMN) to cooperate in setting up millions of vocational schools and vocational training centers.
“We want the establishment, en masse, of vocational schools and training centers, even if it is only one thousand, two thousand, or 10 thousand of them. We need millions of them,” Jokowi said while chairing a limited cabinet meeting at the presidential office in Jakarta on Wednesday.
The president ordered the Ministry of Higher Education and Culture and the BUMN to work jointly to set up vocational schools and vocational training centers and encouraged the private sector to take part in the program.
“The private sector is also expected to take part in this program, particularly in vocational training, so that it can be set up in other regions as well,” the president stated.