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Five Indonesian Delegates Tackled Youth Unemployment in Y20 Forum

This article originally appeared in Global Indonesian Voices, 1 August 2014

On 12-15 July 2014, five young Indonesians attended the Youth 20 (Y20) Summit which was hosted by Australia as delegates. This year’s Y20 Summit was attended by 110 delegates from twenty G20 member countries and five guest countries—Mauritania, Myanmar, New Zealand, Singapore, and Spain. The Indonesian delegates—Almag Pradana, Donny Eryastha, Dyah Ayunico Ramadhani, Johannes Ardiant, and Zeva Sudana—came prepared with key policy issues that they believed are important for today’s youths, not only in Indonesia, but also worldwide.

This was Indonesia’s fifth involvement in the forum—the first one was in Vancouver 2010, followed by Paris 2011, Washington DC 2012, and St Petersburg 2013. Every year, five different members of delegates are selected from a competitive pool of talents through a written application and an interview process. The policy focus also shifts every year. For example, in last year’s St Petersburg Summit, the focus had been the global financial crises and efforts to strengthen the global financial system in response to the crises. This year’s summit has taken another step to improve youth employment and mobility worldwide as well as to establish framework for a more sustainable development.

Before the Summit, each country’s delegates had worked on their own policy priorities and then, facilitated by an online platform, all delegates discussed with each other to reach a consensus on several top policies to be put on the table.

Looking at Indonesia’s contexts, our youth unemployment rate is comparatively higher than our peers in Southeast Asia, which now stands at around twenty percent. The problem of youth unemployment in Indonesia is mostly caused by the gap between skills required by the market and those possessed by the youth—a mismatch between supply and demand. Consequently, in this year’s summit, the five Indonesian delegates have been very successful in spearheading policy recommendation effort to improve skills among youths to meet job market demand.

Besides, these delegates have also managed to push other key recommendations on topics such as rural development, female empowerment and accreditation of professional qualifications to ease labor mobility, diversification of national energy sources, and expansion of energy access in the least developed regions.

Policy recommendation is just the first step that these delegates have taken. Another task waiting for them is to make sure that these proposals are communicated to relevant stakeholders in the government: be it line ministries, government agencies, or local government. We must make sure that our voices are being heard by the incoming government and our suggestions are being considered in the planning of the government’s medium- and long-term plan as well as youth-related programs.

Johannes Ardiant

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