Strengthening Link and Match Between Vocational Education and The World of Work in Indonesia (A National Research Report)
The enduring issues and problems of vocational education in Indonesia are the link and match between vocational education and the world of work in terms of quantity (how many students required by the world of work), quality (what competencies required by the world of work), location (where vocational education should be offered), and time (when graduates are needed by the workplace and this is about forecasting). This research only focuses on the first one i.e. the quantity of vocational education graduates required by the world of work, and the last three issues will be researched later.
In 2007, the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture (MOEC) embarked major policy shift on the proportion of general secondary education and vocational secondary students from 70%:30% reversed to expected 30%:70% by 2017, with the assumption that link and match between vocational education and the world of work will be strengthened. Is the proportion accurate right now? To answer this question, research was done to explore supply-demand of labor graduating from general secondary and vocational secondary school by using series long term data from 2007 to 2017. Thus, the objective of this research is to explore the existing proportion of general secondary and vocational school graduates and to recommend Indonesian MOEC policy maker on the appropriate proportion of general secondary and vocational secondary students required by the world of work in Indonesia.
To achieve the objective, quantitative descriptive research method was used. Quantitative descriptive method was used to collect, tabulate and sort quantitative data gathered from the Directorate of Vocational Secondary Education at MOEC. Data on economic development such as economic growth, employment by education, and unemployment were collected from the Bureau of Statistics Center in Indonesia, both aggregate data nationally and disaggregate per province from 34 provinces in Indonesia.
The research found that, in 2017: (1) the proportion of general secondary school graduates and vocational schools graduates were 48%:52% (was 70%:30% in 2007); (2) the average unemployment of vocational school graduates were higher than those of general secondary school graduates i.e. 10% and 9%; (3) graduates from vocational schools work in less relevant jobs as compared to graduates from general secondary schools (36%:64%), (4) the world of work employ more graduates from general secondary schools than from vocational secondary school graduates, whereas graduates from vocational schools are supposedly prepared to enter the world of work; and (5) the number of vocational school graduates (supply) is over than the demand of world of work (oversupply graduates from vocational schools).
There must be something wrong with vocational education in Indonesia. Realignment of vocational education policy, execution and practices is required so that there is an efficient school-to-work transition and thus contribute optimally to the formation of workforce in Indonesia. Graduatesfrom vocational secondary schools must be skilled, flexible and technology-literate in order to meet the human resource demands of Indonesian economy. Therefore, further research is required in order to inform policy makers and practitioners on Indonesian vocational education. The other three issues on quality, location, and time must be resolved soon by conducting accurate research. Cooperation with Germany in terms of joint research team/group, consultation group in formulating strategy, policy direction and policy dimensions such as dual system and establishment of National Board of Vocational Education (like BIBB) is urgently needed.
Keywords - general secondary school, link and match, supply and demand ofvocational secondary school