Switzerland Inspires Indonesia for Skills Development Sustainability

20 Oct 2022

On October 19th, 2022, Swiss Embassy and SECO celebrated 50 years of Partnership in Skills Development in Jakarta. After welcomed by remarks from H.E. Kurt Kunz, Ambassador of Switzerland to Indonesia, Timor-Leste, and ASEAN, this 50 year of Vocational Development Partnership is clearly explained by Mr Philipp Orga, Head Economic Cooperation and Development SECO from Swiss Embassy as a successful start of the first period of collaboration. Since 1972, Swiss Government already supported Indonesian High Vocational Education by establishing the Politeknik Mekanik Swiss (today POLMAN Bandung) as one of the formal collaboration projects in Skills Development.

Even before, Switzerland private initiative (by Jesuit Switzerland) has already supported the establishment of Indonesian pioneer for dual model vocational education institute, ATMI (today Politeknik ATMI) in 1968. Both ATMI and Polman are considered to be the best practices for nowadays the most needed production-based education approach in manufacturing, design engineering and mechatronics. Based on these 2 models, now Indonesia already has hundreds of polytechnics implementing similar approach like the Production Based Education and Training (PBET), Project Based Education, and Link and Match, which basically based on the Swiss dual education proven model.

After these collaboration with Polman Bandung and ATMI, Swiss Government keep on maintaining the Vocational Collaboration through several projects such as Establishment of NHI (National Hotel Institute – today Poltekpar NHI) Bandung, Establishment of Vocational Education Development Center (VEDC) Malang, Initiating the Association of Polytechnics and Industry Indonesia – APII (which basically inspired by SwissMEM) to initiate a stronger industrial collaboration in high vocational education system, and also the existing Skills for Competitiveness Project - S4C addresses a stronger collaboration for a more solid basis of demand driven vocational education development. Some additional project is still continuing such as Sustainable Tourism Education Development Project – STED in Lombok, Renewable Energy Skills Development Project – RESD in several polytechnics and Skill Training Center. This Switzerland Government sustainable support is really counted for the further Indonesian economic development.

A significant step forward

The strengthening of KADIN Switzerland Chapter in the Indonesia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN) as well as the establishment of Indonesia Trading House in Switzerland aims to strengthen bilateral relations between Indonesia and Switzerland. It encourages the relevant parties to address the stronger industrial and demand driven collaboration in vocational education which will directly support the sustainable economic development, as it is already proven also in Switzerland model.

For the further development, the successful 1st 50 years of Partnership in Skills Development (1972-2022) will be strengthened as the “2nd sustainable phase of Vocational Collaboration” where more industrial and economic collaboration will be aligned with vocational education development as a win-win collaborative ecosystem. More demand driven projects will be planned for 2023 onwards, utilizing the existing Indonesia-EFTA Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), KADIN Switzerland Chapter Programs, Indonesia Trading House in Switzerland, as well as the more formal Vocational Education Development Program run by Indonesian ministries and KADIN (under the more formal presidential decree in 2022.

KADIN Switzerland Chapter and KADIN Vokasi (The Vocational Development Working Group at KADIN) will play an important role to answer this challenge and to make the dream of a stronger vocational education development come true. Some of the sustainably plans are going to be launch as vocational – educational based collaboration, partnership with association like SwissMEM and SFUVET as well as some alignment program with the Chamber of Commerce’s priority programs, especially in priority fields such as manufacturing, tourism and trade (textile, natural ingredients and infrastructure). It will be run in alignment with bigger ecosystem and relevant vocational parties like Swiss Cham, S4C, SECO, APII and MOEC.