The AIC meets the team leading Indonesia’s successful training-for-work program

The Australia-Indonesia Centre has heard first-hand about the success of a skills training program set up by the Indonesian President in 2019.


The leaders of the government scheme called ‘Kartu Prakerja’, or the pre-employment card, met with AIC staff to explain how 16.4 million people had already benefited from cash rebates for training and help with job matching.

The AIC has an extensive alumni network and conducts its own research into skills needs and the two organisations were keen to learn from each other. The Australia Indonesia Youth Association (AIYA) joined the briefing to ask questions about the program and young people.

According to Kartu Prakerja executive director Denni Puspa Purbasari at the time of the launch around 90 percent or 120 million people in the Indonesian workforce had never received vocational training.

“If we leave the market mechanisms to solve this social problem it would take forever,” she said.

She outlined how the number of people to receive training has moved from 10.25 percent of the working population in 2020 to 19.32 percent in August 2022. The program also provided cash incentives and job matching during the pandemic to help lift people out of a difficult time and was designed to ensure it reached people in rural areas with limited upskilling options.

According to reports participants have seen their monthly incomes rise by an average of US$8.20.


Executive Director of the Kartu Prakerja program Denni Puspa Purbasari sits between two of the program's officials in a meeting with the Australia-Indonesia Centre.
Kartu Prakerja executive director Denni Puspa Purbasari sits between two of the program’s officials. Image credit: AIYA/


The AIC executive director Eugene Sebastian explained how much of the work under the Partnership for Australia-Indonesia Research program (PAIR), a program supported by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, put a focus on the digital skills needed to meet national policy goals.

“The Centre is working with policymakers and industry to better understand what kind of training will support economic growth and provide sustainable jobs for young people”, he said.

The research teams have been examining the types of digital skills needed for port operations and engineering, and whether current training provides the digital skill set that meet the needs of industry.

The mission of the Kartu Prakeja card is to bring people closer to productive employment through digital technology and is available to the unemployed and also those in work who want to upgrade their skills.

Applications are assessed through an online process and once accepted the participant receives money to cover the cost of their chosen training and during the pandemic a cash incentive was also provided to help the local economy.

Top training courses include digital marketing, food and beverage and office automation with 51 percent of participants women. The scheme supported tens of millions of people through the pandemic by providing training online which will now shift to a hybrid scheme.

A group photo of AIC staff, AIYA members and Kartu Prakerja senior executives. Image credit: AIYA/

Picture of Helen Brown

Lead, Communications and Outreach
The Australia-Indonesia Centre