Joint training courses for workers benefit Singapore, Indonesia

President Halimah Yacob at Singapore International Foundation's (SIF) occupational therapy session for those with special needs, in Jakarta, yesterday. With her were her husband Mohamed Abdullah Alhabshee; Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Gr
President Halimah Yacob at Singapore International Foundation's (SIF) occupational therapy session for those with special needs, in Jakarta, yesterday. With her were her husband Mohamed Abdullah Alhabshee; Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu (second from right); MP Ang Wei Neng (standing, second from left); and SIF executive director Jean Tan (in black, behind Madam Halimah). PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Programmes will help thousands prepare for technological disruption, says Halimah

Partnerships between Singapore and Indonesia to develop human resources have allowed both countries to reap economic benefits, said President Halimah Yacob yesterday.

Speaking to 60 educators at a workshop organised by the Indonesian Ministry of Industry and Singapore Polytechnic, Madam Halimah reiterated Singapore's commitment to strengthening cooperation with Indonesia to improve the capabilities of its workers.

She noted that Singapore and Indonesia have signed more than 20 agreements to conduct training programmes that will help thousands of Indonesian officials and trainers scale up and better meet the demands of an ever-changing digital economy.

"Our two countries share a common objective of ensuring that our citizens are not just well prepared for technological disruptions brought about by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, but also well positioned to reap the benefits they bring to our peoples, industries and economies," the President said at the workshop held in the Ministry of Industry in Jakarta.

"Singapore and Indonesia recognise that our workers need to be equipped with the relevant skills so that they can adapt and seize the opportunities brought about by these technological advancements."

Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday the workshop was part of an initiative to train educators on Industry 4.0, which is a new phase in the Industrial Revolution that focuses on interconnectivity, automation, machine learning and real-time data.

The initiative will help improve the capabilities of Indonesian polytechnic staff to develop and implement training courses to meet the manpower needs of Industry 4.0.

At the workshop, Indonesian Minister of Industry Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita thanked Singapore for its support in training workers.

He said: "We hope this great relationship with Singapore can continue with increasing numbers of educational and training cooperation programmes to improve our industrial human resources in the future."

Trade and investment ties between Singapore and Indonesia are close, with total trade amounting to $65 billion in 2018, a 9.4 per cent rise over the previous year.

Singapore has also been Indonesia's top foreign investor for the past six years.

 
 
 

In 2016, the 2,700ha Kendal Industrial Park in the bustling port city of Semarang - a joint venture between Singapore's Sembcorp Development and Indonesia's industrial estate developer Jababeka - was officially opened.

Madam Halimah said on Tuesday, the second day of her four-day state visit to Indonesia, that the park has attracted investments valued at US$843 million (S$1.1 billion) and will create more than 8,000 jobs.

Yesterday, she had an "engaging discussion" over lunch with Indonesian religious and interfaith leaders. They shared views on how to promote social harmony in both Singapore and Indonesia, she said in a Facebook post.

She then left for Yogyakarta, where she met its governor, Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono X, at the Keraton, a palace complex that is the seat of the reigning Sultan.

The city, about an hour's flight east of the capital, is the site of the famed Borobudur temple.

The Sultan hosted a dinner for Madam Halimah.

Today, she will visit Block71 Yogyakarta, a start-up incubation community set up by NUS Enterprise in partnership with the Salim Group, and will speak to students of Gadjah Mada University before returning to Singapore.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 06, 2020, with the headline 'Joint training courses for workers benefit Singapore, Indonesia'. Print Edition | Subscribe