Govt Rejects Input to Convert Pre-employment Card into Cash Aid



Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, JakartaCoordinating Minister for Economy Airlangga Hartarto responded to the public controversy surrounding the government’s program on the pre-employment card. Some people deemed the program was irrelevant during the COVID-19 pandemic and urged the government to convert it into cash assistance.

    Airlangga explained that his ministry had established many direct cash assistance programs or BLT amounting to Rp105 trillion as mitigation of the people affected by the pandemic, including the additional budget for the pre-employment card program worth Rp10 trillion.

    “The program is converted into a social safety net because of the current economic situation, demand shock, supply shock, production shock, so we adjust it for people who are laid off,” said the minister through an online conference on Wednesday, April 22.

    Once the situation returns to normal, he added, the ministry will implement the initial function of the program, which is improving the skill of workers. “This is among other programs of social net safety; it's not the only one.”

    Therefore, Airlangga expected the training provided in the program will help people to enhance their skills so that they will be ready to seek a job when the pandemic ends. Besides, they will be provided with Rp600,000 cash for four months.

    Previously, Chairman of the Indonesian Employer' Association (Apindo) Hariyadi Sukamdani considered the Pre-employment Card Program, which was designed before the COVID-19 pandemic, was pointless given the current situation as unemployed people need cash assistance more than job training.