Strengthening Tourism Technical Vocational Education And Training (TVET) Ecosystem In Southwest Sumba

Program Name: Strengthening Tourism Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Ecosystem in Southwest Sumba, East Nusa Tenggara 
Implementing Partner: DESMA Center for the Development of Sustainable Tourism
Sector: Education 
Location: Southwest Sumba  
Program Duration: 24 months 
Program Period:  August 2020 – July 2022 


A. Targeted outcomes

To achieve the main objective of strengthening the TVET ecosystem for tourism in Southwest Sumba, this collaboration supports various stakeholders in improving tourism TVET in the district. It aims to strive for a positive impact on tourism TVET and promote stronger education as a foundation for tourism development and management by targeting specific outcomes as below:

  1. Strengthened advocacy to local government to include tourism TVET as part of regional economic development programs
  2. Improved capacity of tourism vocational high schools (commonly known as Sekolah Menengah Kejuruan/SMK) and to prepare a school to be a First Grade professional certification institute (commonly known as Lembaga Sertifikasi Profesional/LSP Grade I) 
  3. Enhanced business linkage of tourism SMK to industry

B. Output(s)

Output 1: Developing agreement with stakeholder to improve tourism education by including tourism TVET in the economic development agenda
Output 2: Developing capacity of tourism SMK to advance its graduates and capacity
Output 3: Strengthening the network and graduate acceptance in the industry

C. Background & Context: 

  1. In 2016, the Government of Indonesia (GoI) launched a TVET revitalization program following the Presidential Instruction No. 9/2016 for Quality Improvement and Human Resource Competitiveness of Indonesian Human Resources with the target of increasing the employability and competitiveness of Indonesian labor force both nationally and internationally.
  2. Based on a rapid assessment conducted by DESMA Center in 2019, there are various challenges in preparing a qualified workforce for tourism through the current vocational education system in Indonesia, especially in the eastern region. The challenges may include mismatch between skills taught for tourism vocations at SMKs and the industry, inadequate facilities and learning materials for students to apply and practice concepts, and non-productive teachers who lack the appropriate academic background or industry experience.
  3. There are seven SMKs in Southwest Sumba that provide tourism-related materials and capacity building as major focuses. Those SMKs are SMK Panenggo Ede, SMKN 1 Kodi Utara, SMK Mata Loko, SMK Bakti Luhur, SMK Negeri 2 Kota Tambolaka, SMKS Pancasila Tambolaka and SMK Efata. None of these SMKs have been accredited. The only tourism SMKs in Southwest Sumba that provide tourism practical laboratories are SMKS Pancasila Tambolaka and SMKN 1 Kodi Utara. SMKN 1 Kodi Utara is the only vocational school that provides a library among others. SMKN 1 Kodi Utara and SMK Negeri 2 Kota Tambolaka are state-owned vocational schools while the other vocational schools are privately owned. Three SMKs are included in the revitalisation program: SMKN 1 Kodi Utara, SMK Negeri 2 Kota Tambolaka and SMKS Pancasila Tambolaka. 
  4. The lack of involvement of local governments in the development of TVET schools in their regions has contributed to a low absorption of TVET graduates for employment by the local industry. Instead of offering study programs in accordance with the local potentials, many TVET schools offer outdated programs or similar programs from one to another without doing any initial survey of the competitive landscape. Whereas, if TVET schools offer programs that are aligned with local potentials, the employability of graduates  could potentially be increased and the local economy could be improved. In addition, local governments do not really consider designing TVET programs as their mandated responsibility.
  5. The main objective of tourism TVET programs is to provide the industry with graduates that are well-qualified and sufficiently trained according to industry standards.. However, the assessment on Education and Vocational Training in Southwest Sumba conducted by William & Lily Foundation and the Indonesian Institute for Economics, Politics, and Public Policy Analysis (LANSKAP) in 2019 identified  that SMKs in Southwest Sumba have generated an oversupply of graduates who lack the sufficient skills and knowledge for immediate employment by the industry, contributing to a low demand of SMK graduates by the industry.
  6. Tourism SMKs should provide a high-quality curriculum that meets the needs of the tourism industry and have qualified teachers with industry experience who can really transfer their knowledge to  students. This could be addressed by undertaking comprehensive capacity building to the teachers. Accredited SMKs are highly needed as one of the basic requirements to be standardised with LSP grade I. However, accredited tourism SMKs and other important outputs to have LSP grade I standard are still lacking, since laboratory facilities for practical in-house training are underequipped. Moreover, there is also a lack of quantity and competence of teachers.
  7. TVET can effectively reduce youth unemployment, if they can provide graduates with the right skills that match with industry needs. Therefore, a demand-led TVET system, that answers the needs of the workforce and private sector, is necessary. Strong linkage with industry should be developed through collaboration and partnership with tourism industry related stakeholders, including business and industrial actors.
  8. Based on the assessment Report in term of Education and Vocational Training in Southwest Sumba undertaken by William & Lily Foundation and LANSKAP (Institute for Economics Politics and Public Policy Analysis), SMKs should be able to cooperate with businesses and industrial actors, therefore, the budget would be imposed to the central government.

E. Brief Description:

TVET emphasizes education, training, and skills development relating to a wide range of occupational fields, production, services and livelihoods (UNESCO, 2015). This effort aims to ensure that the next generation of workforce has the skills they need that match the industry (Indonesia Development Forum, 2019). In the tourism sector, in particular, TVET aims to strengthen the sustainability of tourism development at the national and systemic level by building the capacity of relevant government departments, training providers, and private sector stakeholders through capacity building exercises and mentoring services (Australian Aid, 2017).

To achieve the goals of “Strengthening Tourism TVET Ecosystem in Southwest Sumba” program, DESMA Center and William & Lily Foundation work together on a range of activities based on each output as below:

Output 1

To raise local government awareness and capacity to contribute towards the success of the national TVET revitalization program, DESMA Center will advocate the inclusion of TVET in regional development plan through:

  • Sharing lessons learned from other regions and nations where government support towards TVET schools have proven to bring socio-economy benefit to local community
  • Providing technical assistance on program development for TVET schools during the regional development plan
  • Facilitating local government to carry on regular discussion on TVET policies and programs with schools and industries

Output 2

To improve the capacity of tourism SMKs in order to be able to prepare for LSP grade I standard, DESMA Center will engage tourism SMKs through:

  • Conducting management training and consultation to tourism SMKs management board
  • Conducting sister school program amongst tourism SMKs in Southwest Sumba with Bali tourism SMKs
  • Improving teacher practical knowledge in tourism and hospitality
  • Implementing internship program in the tourism industry for tourism SMK teachers in Southwest Sumba
  • Improving practical facility in tourism SMKs

Output 3

To improve TVET school’s business linkage with industry, DESMA Center conducts the following activities:

  • Labor market demand rapid assessment that provide updated labor market information
  • School management outreach capacity building
  • Facilitation on regular dialogue between SMKs and tourism industry players
  • Employment fairs and workshops where TVET providers can introduce training programs and graduate students can interact with business as well as industrial actors

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