Switzerland Helps Indonesia Prep Renewable Energy Workforce: Envoy

jakarta Switzerland is helping Indonesia meet renewable energy workforce needs through vocational training while Southeast Asia’s largest economy seeks to phase out coal.

As part of the Renewable Energy Skills Development (RESD) project, Switzerland intends to support Indonesia in equipping the Indonesian workforce with the know-how for renewable electricity generation. In other words, people who are knowledgeable about the installation, operation and maintenance of renewable energy power plants.

“We all know how we want to move from fossil fuels to renewable energy. But for that we need qualified people who are able to install the necessary equipment,” Swiss Ambassador to Indonesia Kurt Kunz told reporters at his residence in Jakarta on Wednesday.

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“This [RESD] The project will help train the professionals needed,” the envoy said.

The RESD is the latest of Switzerland’s numerous vocational training projects in Indonesia. According to Kunz, it is also one of around thirty projects in Indonesia financed by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

The government’s official website showed that Switzerland has agreed to provide 6.5 million Swiss francs (about US$6.4 million) in grants to Indonesia as part of the RESD.

In February 2021, SECO announced that it would provide new grants totaling 65 million Swiss francs over the next four years to boost Indonesia’s economic development. The money would go to more than 30 active projects, including RESD.

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The RESD includes, among other things, the development of a Bachelors in an applied science program, known locally as D4, with a specialization in renewable energy technologies at participating universities of applied sciences.

“This project introduces a D4 renewable energy technology program for the first time in Indonesia, [namely] in the fields of solar and hydropower. In this way, we can not only train the students, but also those who are already working,” says Philipp Orga, Head of the Swiss Economic Cooperation SECO at the Swiss Embassy in Jakarta.

Indonesia has set a goal of increasing its share of renewable energy in the energy mix to 23 percent by 2025, but there is still a long way to go. The Ministry of Natural Resources reported that the country’s renewable energy share dropped to just 11.2 percent in 2020. Coal accounted for 38.04 percent of the energy mix that year.

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50 years of competence development cooperation

Switzerland’s relations with Indonesia attach great importance to the development of skills. This year marks five decades of bilateral cooperation in this area.

In addition to renewable energies, Switzerland is also committed to the Indonesian vocational schools for tourism and production technology. A notable example of this collaboration is the founding of Politeknik Mekanik Swiss – Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB) back in the 1970s. The school is now known as Bandung Politeknik Manufactory.

Swiss
Swiss Ambassador to Indonesia Kurt Kunz (middle) during a commemorative event at the Swiss residence in Jakarta on October 19, 2022. The event celebrates five decades of Indonesian-Swiss cooperation in skills development. (JG Photo/Jayanty Nada Shofa)

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