Indonesia hopes to work with Singapore to improve skills of workers abroad

Madam Woon Siew Lan (right), a trainer at Nation Employment Maid Agency, teaching Miss Srilianti BR Sembiring, a domestic worker from Indonesia, on the usage of a fall detector device common in eldercare. Indonesia hopes to work with Singap
Madam Woon Siew Lan (right), a trainer at Nation Employment Maid Agency, teaching Miss Srilianti BR Sembiring, a domestic worker from Indonesia, on the usage of a fall detector device common in eldercare. Indonesia hopes to work with Singapore to improve the skills of Indonesians who take jobs abroad, Manpower Minister Hanif Dhakiri said. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

INDONESIA hopes to work with Singapore to improve the skills of Indonesians who take jobs abroad, Manpower Minister Hanif Dhakiri said.

This might involve an exchange of instructors to make sure those workers are better trained in such tasks as babysitting or caring for the elderly, he said after meeting his visiting counterpart from Singapore, Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, here on Thursday.

"The protection of foreign workers in Singapore has been good, and we are thankful to Singapore for that," Mr Hanif told reporters.

"Going forward, we hope to expand cooperation to improve the competencies of our workers, and on issues like certification." 

According to Indonesia's manpower ministry, there are 23,437 Indonesians working in Singapore - 19,442 of them in the informal sector.

For his part, Singapore Manpower Minister Mr Tan said: "We do share a lot of common perspectives about how to develop our workforce, how to look after our people better, both within our countries and those of our workers who work abroad."

"There are different areas of cooperation and collaboration that we look forward to exploring."

Mr Tan was visiting Jakarta to meet several new ministers, as well as Cabinet secretary Andi Widjajanto, defence minister Ryamizard Ryacudu and bureaucratic reform minister Yuddy Chrisnandi.

Mr Hanif's comments come as Indonesia aims to reduce the number of unskilled going abroad as maids, and clamps down on illegal practices and rogue recruitment agencies.

wahyudis@sph.com.sg