The project was officially inaugurated by the Head of Economic Cooperation and Development from SECO Headquarters in Switzerland, Ambassador Raymund Furrer, and the Deputy Minister for Industries and Institutions Development of the Ministry of Tourism, Mrs. Rizki Handayani. The inauguration was witnessed by the Ambassador- Designate of Switzerland to Indonesia, Mr. Kurt Kunz.
The Sustainable Tourism Education Development project is a response to the Indonesian government’s call to improve its tourism vocational education. The project aims to assist the Lombok Tourism Polytechnic in developing better qualified graduates with relevant skills for the tourism industry in Eastern Indonesia. It will do so by supporting the Polytechnic in improving the curricula and teachers’ qualification, and fostering institutional relations between the school and industry.
The project will promote a dual-track vocational education system. “Dual track” is a key characteristic of vocational education in Switzerland. It allows students to combine learning at school and workplace in a complementary way; as such schools will have close links with the labor market and the role of private sector in education is indispensable.
Tourism is an important sector of the Indonesian economy and an important source of employment generation. In 2016, the Government of Indonesia announced its plans to accelerate the development of ten priority tourism destinations in a sustainable manner. This ambition calls for an adequate investment in human resources. At present, skills mismatch is an issue prevalent in many industries in Indonesia, and even more pronounced in labor-intensive industries like tourism.
The project is implemented by Swisscontact, which has vast know-how in implementing vocational education and tourism development projects in Indonesia, in partnership with the Swiss Hotel Management Academy Lucerne.
“We hope that the STED project can support our efforts in improving the professional skills of our hospitality students, and eventually contribute to the competitiveness of Indonesian tourism,” remarked Deputy Minister Rizki Handayani.
“Switzerland is a very popular tourist destination. The tourism in Switzerland has benefited significantly from a well-functioning vocational education system,” said Ambassador Furrer. “I am confident that not only students but also the whole tourism industry in Lombok will greatly benefit from our support to the Lombok Tourism Polytechnic. It is our ambition to make sure that, in a near future, the tourism industry in Lombok will hire its new employees directly from the Lombok Polytechnic.”
Switzerland has had a long history of supporting vocational education in Indonesia. Politeknik Mekanik Swiss, or POLMAN Bandung, and the National Hotel Institute, or STP Bandung, were established with Swiss assistance in the 1970s. Since their establishment, the schools have become models for many other Polytechnics in Indonesia.
STED is an integral part of the larger Indonesia-Swiss tourism engagement called Sustainable Tourism Development in Indonesia (STDI).
Indonesia is a priority country for Swiss cooperation. Its cooperation program supports inclusive and sustainable economic development, focusing on two strategic objectives, improving public service delivery and contributing to a more competitive and job- creating private sector.