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People First Policy Key to Indonesia’s Economic Recovery

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By: Aldia Putra )*

The government is trying its best to restore the economy that was previously affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The key to economic recovery is the people first policy, namely a strategy that prioritizes the people.

The Covid-19 pandemic had hit the Indonesian economy, but slowly the Indonesian economy was able to recover. This can be proven by the opening of tourist attractions and culinary businesses that are starting to squirm.

Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto said Indonesia’s recovery can be proven by high economic growth in the first quarter of 2022 which reached 5.01% and was higher than other G20 countries including Germany and China.

This was explained by Airlangga when he represented Indonesia to convey his views and perspectives at the Country Strategy Dialogue session in the 2022 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting (WEFAM) event in Davos, Switzerland.

According to Airlangga, the achievement of this significant economic growth is supported by the government’s people-first policy. The government places itself as a community to consider how the impact will be felt by the community as a result of the decisions that will and have been implemented.

Airlangga gave an example of the policy of providing cash assistance to street vendors, stall owners and fishermen (BT-PKLWN) which was initiated to help MSME actors while encouraging public consumption. In addition, there is also a pre-employment card program that is semi-social assistance and is initiated by the government for reskiling and upskilling the community during the pandemic.

Like the Pre-Employment Card, where there are 11.4 million residents who are beneficiaries of the program. For school students, the government also provides free internet quota assistance to ensure the availability of education during the pandemic.

Airlangga said that all of these efforts did have risks in terms of state budget needs. However, Airlangga believes, this will bring long-term benefits to the community.

The People First policy shows that the government prioritizes the people. In this case, the Government invests in it and ensures public trust. Airlangga also believes that this decision in the long term will prove to be just as important as they did in the short term.

Furthermore, Airlangga explained, this people-first approach does not only apply during times of crisis. The use of this approach in the areas of labour, education, health and other social services can be the guiding force behind development efforts.

This can be seen as in environmental policies, where Indonesia also emphasizes a people-first approach. The government listens to complaints from families whose lives and livelihoods are under the real threat of climate change. As a result, in the last two years Indonesia has succeeded in reducing deforestation by up to 80%.

Airlangga also believes that the implementation of this people-first policy can provide real change. This approach is an inclusive, sustainable and principled approach. It is this approach that can form the basis for increased engagement and collaboration around the world.

The Pre-Employment Card can be an example of best practice in managing a large program with a scope of 514 districts/cities throughout Indonesia by minimizing many problems. This program can of course be a pilot project for other programs. It should be noted that the pre-employment card program does not only focus on job-ready training, but also entrepreneurship training for those who want to start their own businesses.

Previously, the President of the Republic of Indonesia Joko Widodo said that the pre-employment program was intended for anyone who had just graduated from high school, college, and even for anyone who dropped out of school.

Currently there are 1,700 kinds of training through the Pre-Employment Card program. Thousands of these trainings are provided by 165 training institutions.

Referring to the available number, program participants are allowed to choose the type of training they are interested in or that supports their talents. In this competitive era, if our skills are not improved, they will be lost.

The government gives priority to the pre-employment card program for young job seekers, but not for those who are currently studying or currently in college. The Pre-Employment Card Program not only provides benefits, but also opportunities for many people, especially the workforce who have difficulty finding work due to lack of skills.

The people-first policy focuses on developing human resources, so it is hoped that the community can survive with the skills they have. This government policy needs to be appreciated and supported by the community, so that development programs

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