Graft watchdog says pre-employment program ineffective, waste of money

CNN Indonesia – April 27, 2020
Illustration of pre-employment card program app on phone – Undated (CNN)

Jakarta – Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) is asking the government to review the form and type of training provided by the pre-employment card program. ICW researcher Almas Sjafrina is of the view that the pre-employment card program must be ended because it is ineffective and nothing more than a waste of the state budget in the midst of the corona virus pandemic.

According to Sjafrina, the program is more beneficial for providers and employment training partners than the participants themselves. She also highlighted the money that has to be paid by the government to pre-employment training partners for each participant on paper.

“So, this is one of the grounds which has made us conclude or assess that pre-employment training through the mechanism of pre-paid webinar (web seminars) is ineffective and an inefficient use of the budget”, said Sjafrina during an online discussion in Jakarta on Monday April 27.

Sjafrina doubts that the government has considered the needs of program participants related to the cost of phone internet data usage which ipso facto is essential to be able to take part in the training.

“With webinar training, although they can get this from free study forums, they also have to spend money for internet quota. I don’t know exactly but to take part in training three or five times it would cost 200,000 rupiah, can they afford the internet quota”, she said.

Based on these reasons, she said that that this is an inappropriate use of the budget in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. According to Sjafrina, the increase in the budget allocation for the pre-employment card, which rose from 10 trillion rupiah to 20 trillion rupiah, should be cancelled and the funds redirected towards accelerating the fight against Covid-19 which is more urgent.

“Providing social assistance to the public that’s been impacted on, elderly people, people with disabilities, those who’ve been sacked, or whose offices have been forced to close. Then reallocated to meeting the need for health equipment for medical workers”, she said.

Earlier, economist Tauhid Ahmad, who is also the executive director of the Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (INDEF), also said that the pre-employment card training program is ineffective and a waste of the state budget.

In the end, Ahmad says that the state budget which is supposedly allocated to help people in the midst of the corona pandemic, only ends up in the “wallets” of the startup ecosystem.

“If you look at it the online training is ineffective, it’s also incompatible with the skills needed at the moment. So it’s odd, yet this is important and the budget is huge, as much as 5.6 trillion rupiah”, Ahmad told CNN Indonesia on Tuesday April 14. (ryn/osc)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Tak Efektif, ICW Minta Program Kartu Prakerja Dihentikan”.]