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Indonesia Government to Bolster Digital Talent to Accelerate Digital Transformation

The government of the Republic of Indonesia is making efforts to promote national economic recovery by speeding up digital transformation. Minister Johnny announced that the Ministry of Communication and Informatics has established a Digital Indonesia Roadmap 2021-2024 to serve as a strategic guide for the country’s digital transformation journey and aims to accelerate national digital transformation by focusing on ten strategic sectors. The 10 main priority sectors that will be focusing on includes the government sector, the trade sector, the financial services sector, the industrial sector, media and entertainment, real estate and urban areas, agriculture and fisheries, transportation, education, and digital health.

One part of the roadmap that gets attention is the demand for digital talent. Minister Johnny remarked that Indonesia will require 9 million digital talents over the next 15 years to support the country’s digital transformation. According to World Bank research published in 2018, Indonesia would face a digital worker shortage of 9 million skilled and semi-skilled workers between 2015 and 2030.

This requirement comes from the rapid changes inflicted by the significant impact of the digital domain to meet the demands of the fourth industrial revolution. Numerous jobs have been rated as the most in-demand in Indonesia. Artificial intelligence experts, Big Data Analytics specialists, process and Internet of Things specialists, digital marketing specialists and renewable energy technicians, data analysis specialists, digital transformation specialists, business management analysis specialists, and business development specialists are just some of the positions available.

According to the Minister of Communication and Information, fostering digital talent is especially important for those living in rural regions who want to learn how to use technology. The Ministry will offer a digital leadership academy at the higher levels, with the goal of shaping future leaders in the public and commercial sectors. “We are in partnership with overseas universities such as the Harvard Kennedy School, University of Oxford, National University of Singapore, and Tsinghua University.”

OpenGov Asia reported the government has consistently supported digital talent development programmes as one of the keys to digital transformation as part of a larger plan to digitiSe Indonesia. To that end, the Communications and Information Ministry is offering the 2021 Digital Talent Scholarship (DTS), a stimulus programme that began in 2018 to train new digitally savvy Indonesian talents.

The head of research and human resource development for the Communications and Information Ministry stated that the programme aimed to train highly skilled professionals in the fields of information technology and communications.

“Digital talent is one of the keys to a digital transformation. DTS is one of the programmes supporting Indonesia’s President instructions on the national digital transformation, which has a target of 9 million highly skilled digital talents by 2030,” he said in a statement.

Concurrently, the Education, Culture, Research, and Technology Ministry’s Directorate General of Higher Education launched the ‘freedom campus’ programme, which focuses on entrepreneurship and digital start-ups. The directorate general’s 2021 programmes, according to the directorate general, will involve close collaboration with the Communications and Information Ministry in the development of a start-up-centric curriculum, as well as a massive online training programme for both students and teachers, with a target of 100,000 participants.

In addition, the Indonesian government needs to increase digital technology investment to realise its goal of a digital future. Digital infrastructure spending at the network operator and enterprise levels should be the focus of such investment.

Indonesia presently invests less in digital infrastructure than its ASEAN peers. The country’s digital investment, for example, accounted for 1.3 per cent of GDP. Thailand’s investment was 2.4 per cent of GDP during the same period, while Malaysia’s was 4.5 per cent and Singapore’s was 6.6 per cent.


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