Kahar S Chyono (Source: Facebook).

JAKARTA, INDONESIA — Chairman of the Communication and Media Department of the Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (KSPI) Kahar S Cahyono have said that the large number of unemployed people in the country indicates that the availability of jobs is still minimal.

“It is also proof that the omnibus law on Job Creation has failed to fulfil its promise,” said Kahar, in an interview with Kompas.com on 31 January.

The Job Creation Act, officially Law Number 11/2020 on Job Creation, is a bill that was passed on 5 October 2020 by Indonesia’s People’s Representative Council (DPR), with the aim of creating jobs and raising foreign and domestic investment by reducing regulatory requirements for business permits and land acquisition processes. Due to its length of 1,035 pages and its coverage of many non-employment sectors, it is also referred to in Indonesia as an omnibus bill.

The law has been criticized on the basis of concerns that it will harm labour rights and indigenous land rights, and increase deforestation in Indonesia by reducing environmental protections.

On 25 November 2021, the Constitutional Court issued its decision, calling the law “conditionally unconstitutional”. It ordered the government and People’s Representative Council to “repair” the law from issues surrounding it over two years.

In an effort to save the law, the People’s Representative Council passed the Bill of Law Formulation on 24 May 2022, which enables the formulation of omnibus law regulation.

Indonesian president Joko Widodo later signed the formulating law on 16 June 2022, effectively starting the process of revising the legislation. On 30 December 2022, Widodo signed the amendment of the law, Government Regulation in Lieu of Law No.2/2022.

Kahar says that while the Job Creation Law promises to open up broad employment opportunities, however apparently, there are still many people who have difficulty getting a job.

In a viral video on TikTok, an influencer narrated that a large number of unemployed people in Indonesia was triggered by candidates who did not meet the qualifications. For example, the locker qualification is at the three-star level, but the candidate who applies only has the ability at the one-star level.

However, according to Kahar, this narrative is not entirely correct. This is because jobs with high qualifications do not require a lot of labour.

“For example, the job vacancies available are only for 1 or 2 people, but those who apply are greater than that,” he said.

He also said that if it is true that high qualifications are the cause of rampant unemployment, then Job Creation Law should focus on skills, saying, “The Omnibus law on Job Creation has failed to answer the challenges in the world of work.”

In fact, improving work skills can be done through efforts to synergise the world of education with the skills needed in the workforce, so that prospective workers already have the qualifications needed after graduating from education, said Kahar.

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