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Monday, October 5, 2009

Jakarta still charms job seekers

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Jakarta(The Jakarta Post)- Banners are strung across Senen Station in Central Jakarta, warning newcomers that working in the capital requires compliance with rules and skills. They also suggest they go back and live simple lives in their hometowns and villages.
This year, 200,000 newcomers are expected to join the city's hustle and bustle, up from 88,500 during the post-Idul Fitri holiday influx in 2008. In 2007, 109,000 newcomers were recorded. In response, the city administration conducts yearly raids to weed out and send home those without the proper documents. This year's raids are expected to kick off two weeks after the Idul Fitri celebration, or early next week.

Paulus Wirutomo, director of the Jakarta Society Reforms Organization (LPMJ), says the raids will be useless in curbing urbanization because most newcomers have calculated the economic risks of staying in their underdeveloped regions.
"There's nothing wrong with urbanization," he says.
"It's normal in developing countries. The problem here, though, is that the urbanization pattern focuses on certain big cities, especially Jakarta."
Paulus calls the influx into Jakarta "over migration", adding the number of people working in the city is far greater than its capacity.
At night, the city's 661.52 square kilometers house more than 9.1 million people, according to 2008 data from the Jakarta office of the Central Statistics Agency (BPS).
During the daytime, those ranks are swelled by another 3 million people, who commute from the many satellite cities orbiting the capital.

The migration, Paulus says, is caused by a push factor, where people in rural areas are denied an adequate living, and a pull factor, in which big cities offer lucrative opportunities to make a living.
In Jakarta, he goes on, the pull factor has gradually diminished because of the myriad problems at play, including the high unemployment rate and lack of affordable housing.

Besides the notorious traffic jams, the city also has to deal with a plethora fires during the dry season and flooding during the rainy season.
There are now more than 590,000 unemployed people in Jakarta, according to data from the city's manpower agency. In 2008, 8.3 percent of the working-age population were jobless.
Manpower agency head Deded Sukandar says his office has laid out strict conditions in issuing so-called "yellow cards" - which allow job seekers to apply for government jobs - including copies of valid Jakarta ID and family cards.
The rules are in force, he says, to limit employment opportunities to only those residents with a Jakarta ID card.
"It's clear Jakarta doesn't need more formal-sector workers, except for certain positions in companies that need university graduates to be placed outside the city," he says.
He adds private companies are not obliged to demand job applicants have a yellow card; but a good company, he goes on, makes it a prerequisite, thus allowing a proper check of the applicant's qualifications and whether they still work at another company. Deded admits the yellow-card strategy has little effect in reducing the number of migrants pouring into the city to work in the informal sector.
"People who come after Idul Fitri mostly work in the informal sector, as street vendors or domestic servants," he says.

"Most of them aren't skilled workers."

He says the annual influx of unskilled workers into Jakarta will only add to the city's already-high unemployment rate.
The agency, Deded says, is struggling to reduce the number of jobless people by increasing the capacity of its training centers for work skills (BLK), aimed at churning out skillful workers in various fields, including automotive, languages, IT and food and beverage.
This year, the agency is looking to put out 6,000 graduates from it BLKs, up from 4,500 last year.
"We're also working closely with retailers to supply them with vocational school graduates to work as interns," Deded says.
One of the agency's training centers, in Pasar Rebo, East Jakarta, provides a free three-month training course for locals and migrants alike, funded as it is by the city and the government.
Paulus says the main reason for the capital's over-migration problem is its role as the country's center for a lot of industries and sector, including manufacturing, education and tourism.
Many people are forced to head to Jakarta to pursue their dreams, he goes on, because little else beckons beyond the capital.
"I believe some of these industries and sectors must be centered in other cities, otherwise people from across the country will keep coming here every year ," Paulus says.
"This requires strong political will from the government and the city administration to farm out the city's wealth to other cities."
He points out the government can provide incentives to investors to build factories in rural areas, and disincentive for those building factories in the city.
He adds the government should also reduce rural regions' dependency on Jakarta by improving infrastructure there to spur economic growth.


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1 comments: said...

I think that Jakarta still the popular city, so many people love Jakarta.

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