Indonesia: The Mobile Training Units in Aceh are operating again

Initial vocational education and training, Upskilling and Reskilling
A decade after the Swisscontact project ended in 2009, the three container trucks are still operated by the Provincial Government for the youth in Aceh. 
The young people can attend various technical courses in the Mobile Training Units.

photos credit: Mobile Training Units Aceh Facebook Page

In March 2021, the Aceh government launched another training cycle for the three Mobile Training Units for 30 Vocational Schools (SMK) in Aceh to train 1,800 students. Dinas Pendidikan Aceh | Berita Kepala Dinas Pendidikan Aceh Lepas 3 Mobile Training Unit (MTU) ke 30 SMK di Aceh ( The MTU which is now based in Gampong Pango Raya, Banda Aceh, is still well maintained and the MTU teaching subjects are part of the curriculum for the vocational schools. The MTU team consist of 36 instructors, 3 technicians and 3 drivers who got their Training (ToT) in P4TK Malang in 2008 and 2014.

This initiative is sustained due to high commitment of the Government of Aceh to develop a skilled next generation. It not only operates the MTUs but also shares information via social media. Check this inspiring MTU story on the Facebook page (in Bahasa Indonesia).

"The Mobile Training Unit (MTU) is specifically designed to assist the Acehnese people by providing facilities and infrastructure for developing skills as well as providing employment promotion services as an effort to assist infrastructure and housing development as well as to empower the Acehnese economy affected by the tsunami,  "
Drs. Rachmat Fitri HD, MPA, The Head of The Aceh Education Office. (, 26 Feb 2020).

The project (2005-2009)

The tsunami in Aceh, December 2004, and the earthquake from March 2005, resulted in massive human and economic losses. It is estimated that the natural disasters caused over half a million people becoming refugees and destroyed around 97% of the Acehnese GDP.

Swisscontact conducted a project, financed by Swiss Solidarity, to overcome the challenges of skills development and employment promotion in the Tsunami affected areas. The project was a quick response to train a skilled workforce, able to support the recovery of the province of Aceh. Hence, the three project trucks established and called the Mobile Training Units, offered a multitude of technical skills, reaching even beneficiaries in remote regions.

The project cooperated closely with the provincial education office in Aceh (DPPA) since 2005 and to further strengthen MTU management capacity, a project follow-up was initiated in 2007 as the second component to the mobile skills training, called the Employment Promotion Services. This component matched unemployed MTU graduates with potential employers in the project districts. The goal was to optimize partner operations and render the implementation of MTU activities by the local authorities sustainably.

Results till project end in 2009

After Swisscontact successfully supported the training of more than 5,907 young men and women in eleven skills throughout the Aceh Province from 2005 until 2008, the three MTU were officially handed over to the Provincial Education Office Aceh (DPPA) in September 2008. In October 2008 the Indonesian authorities started mobile trainings with the three overhauled MTU and 13 newly trained local instructors.

71% of beneficiaries increased their income after they received project support; 83% of the beneficiaries reported an improvement in their livelihood and their social status in the community.

The trucks are well maintained and still in use for technical training.
"Of course I am happy and touched by the presence of the MTU practical tool, provided by Swisscontact, which was brought by the Aceh Education office to the school. We can immediately recognize and know practical tools that were not available in school. I chose this major because I have a dream in the future to be able to build a house for my mother."
Nur Ifdayani, a Class X student of Department of Building Modelling and Information Design at SMK Negeri 2 Simpang Kiri, Subulussalam, Aceh