The youth employment crisis in Indonesia continues to be a growing concern amidst the current COVID-19 pandemic. Followed by a global economic recession, unemployment issue is feared to hit vulnerable groups the hardest, which include groups of young people, especially girls.
Today (18/11), a collaboration between Yayasan Plan International Indonesia (Plan Indonesia) and ASEAN Foundation on a 2-year pilot project titled ‘Bridges to the Future: ASEAN Youth Empowerment’ was announced through an online summit: ‘Google for Indonesia 2020’. This project is supported by one million USD grant from Google.org, Google’s philanthropic arm, to establish an improved, equal opportunity access to work and job market for the youth.
The project is in line with Plan Indonesia’s consistent efforts in youth economic empowerment activities. Plan Indonesia sees this partnership as a bridge to ease the vulnerable youth’s, especially girls’ access to employment, despite the ongoing pandemic. This is another opportunity for employers to come together and enable the job market for youth employment, especially girls and the vulnerable ones to emerge stronger from the crisis.
The pilot project is designed to reach 5,200 underserved youth in Indonesia, which are of the 18-29-year-old age range. The beneficiaries will be composed of 55% girls, in order to help more young girls in overcoming the barrier of unemployment caused by gender discrimination.
Before the pandemic, 2019 estimates from the International Labour Organization placed Indonesia’s 15-24 year old unemployment rate (17.04%) as the second highest in the ASEAN Region, behind only Brunei Darussalam (30.04%). As such, an elaborate effort is needed to help the youth in overpowering their economic vulnerabilities.
The goal of this project is to equip unemployed youth in Indonesia with relevant skills and help match these trained beneficiaries with job opportunities, so that they will gain better access to the local and regional job market.
Following this announcement, Plan Indonesia will be providing wellbeing support and soft-skills enhancement, and we will develop an online vocational and skills-building training program for the most vulnerable young people in Indonesia. The skills-building training will be based on the labor market research input provided by ASEAN Foundation, with focus on available economic opportunities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. An online job fair and job-seeking assistance for young people, partnering with government agencies, corporations, and civil society organization will also be held possibly in 2021.